A character sheet for Final Fantasy VI
, originally released for the SNES in North America as Final Fantasy III
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- Adaptation Dye-Job: Most notably Terra, from Amano-artwork blonde to in-game green (and back to blonde everywhere else - Dissidia still gives green in an alternate costume). Other characters had their hair turned into warm grey color (amusingly, Relm's portrait shows her original blonde hair color).
- Character Development: This is basically Character Development: The Game. Terra learns to love others, Locke gets over his loved one's death, Celes learns to show affection like a human being, Cyan gets over his Survivor Guilt, and so on.
- Desperation Attack: As a precursor to the Limit Break that made a proper debut as a battle mechanic in the next game, everyone note has one super-strong attack they may perform randomly while in critical health.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Gau, Cyan, Celes, and Relm: none of those names are pronounced like you're probably saying them aloud now.
- Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Kefka believes that life is meaningless because everything you create will eventually be destroyed and eventually you will die. Terra then states that the sum of one's life isn't what important; it's the day-to-day concerns, the personal triumphs, the celebration of life and love, and being able to experience the joy that every day of your life can bring.
- "World of Cardboard" Speech/Patrick Stewart Speech/Kirk Summation: The whole party (minus the optional ones) give one to Kefka when he tells the party that life is meaningless. Suffice to say, he is not amused.
"A mysterious young woman, born with the gift of magic, and enslaved by the Gestahlian Empire."
Widely considered The Hero
of the game, or at least The Protagonist
. Terra is a young girl who mysteriously has the innate ability to cast magic, the power of legends though long vanished. The Empire controlled her using a Slave Crown and she has amnesia for much of the game, and is uncertain of what cause to fight for in a war where all sides believe she is a key asset. During the game she remembers her past and her origins - she is the child of an Esper and a human, making her a very unique creature in the world's struggle with the return of magic. She gains the ability to shift into an Esper form, but has trouble controlling it.
- Ace Pilot: Terra has access to more attacks in the Magitek Armor in addition of to the standard three elemental beams and one healing move. In the Game Boy Advance version her class name is Magitek Elite.
- Action Girl: She was raised to be a living weapon. It shows; in terms of pure stats Terra is the best party member in the game.
- Action Mom: The children of Mobliz see her as their Mama after their real parents were killed by Kefka's Light of Judgment.
- A.I. Roulette: Like all others in the Coliseum, but Terra is unique due to a strange bug with her Trance command: if it ends up getting used at random, her AI can freeze for up to minutes at a time.
- Amnesiacs Are Innocent: Although there is some resentment towards her, the other party members make a point of telling those people that she shouldn't be held responsible for crimes she can't even remember.
- Audience Surrogate: For much of the first half of the game, barring her lengthy absence at one point. She's caught up in two sides of a war with no understanding of what's going on or who's the side to fight for.
- Badass: Though the personality to match comes and goes with her Character Development, Terra is the best character in the game, without question. She can wear the best equipment, naturally learns very powerful spells, has high stats, and can use Trance to double her stats for a period of time.
- Back for the Finale: If Terra is not re-recruited in the World of Ruin, she will still return after the final boss battle to guide everyone out of Kefka's tower.
- Badass Adorable: She has a very vulnerable and sweet personality, but she's an excellent battle unit.
- Berserk Button: Don't try to harm the children or her True Companions in her presence.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Used in conjunction with the Mind-Control Device, albeit very briefly at the beginning of the game.
- Break the Cutie: Ever since she was a newborn, she had to suffer under enslavement to the Gestahlian Empire. First, she was pretty much raised in a loveless environment. Then, Kefka discovers her and places a mind control device on her against her will, causing her to be forced to fry several Imperial troops alive under his command (50 soldiers, to be precise).
- Brought Down to Normal: In the ending, magic and espers cease to exist, but Terra manages to hold onto her life and continues to exist as a normal human.
- Catch a Falling Star: In the ending, when escaping Kefka's Tower, Terra's magical powers cease to exist, making her fall. The rest of the party uses the Cool Airship to catch her.
- Cute Monster Girl: In contrast to her Dissidia designs, her Esper form is pointedly not this — it terrifies people and is emphasized to be feral and monstrous, with Terra unable to fully control herself in her transformed state.
- Determinator: As soon as she recovers from whatever emotional trauma she was experiencing (amnesia and the power leak caused by emotional confusion), she becomes like this.
- Doomed Hometown: She was born in the alternate realm of the Espers, so it's more like Doomed Homeworld.
- Dub Name Change: From Tina to Terra. The name "Tina" was used in Japan because it was an exotic name to them, but it's a more common name in the West so "Terra" was used for the same purpose.
- Easy Amnesia: By way of a Mind-Control Device. It's implied that it malfunctioned and damaged her mind when Valigarmanda attacked her, which is why she can't control her powers properly and can't remember her past.
- Fantastic Nuke: Gameplay-wise, she is the only one who can learn the Ultima spell simply by leveling up. Of course, by the time she learns it, the entire party will probably know how to do it from using the Ragnarok magicite or the Paladin Shield.
- Fantastic Racism: Terra's "mixed" lineage, her feelings about it, the historical treatment of Espers and magic-using humans, and the reaction to her existence all have shades of this.
- Flashback Nightmare: When she falls down the cave and is knocked out, she undergoes a terrifying flashback revealing that she was placed under mind control via the Slave Crown by Kefka, forced against her will to burn fifty Imperial Troopers alive, and being present for Emperor Gestahl's war speech.
- Friend to All Children: She's quite taken with Relm. Eventually a town full of orphans latches onto her.
- Gorgeous Gorgon: While there are no otherwise repulsive features, in Amano's artwork, her Esper form is depicted as quite... feral. It makes sense, as she is only half-Esper, and her father Maduin resembles the Gigas◊ monster from Final Fantasy V, which is very human-looking.
- Green Eyes: Her in-game sprite, though it's hard to tell, and fitting perfectly with her mysterious and magical nature. Her Final Fantasy Anthology renders show them in full. Her (in-game) Esper form has Red Eyes, Take Warning—at first played straight, then later subverted.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In Amano's artwork. Fits with her sweet, innocent and motherly personality.
- Half-Human Hybrid: She's half-Esper, half-human. Makes up a good part of her character arc as she questions if she can fit into either world.
- The Heroine: According to Word of God, the game wasn't meant to have a main character, as the entire cast was given time to shine. Despite this, Terra is considered the central protagonist. The plot revolves around her for the first half of the game. If you skip recruiting her in the World of Ruin, she still rushes to the final dungeon to take part in the ending sequence. She's effectively become the face of the game due to Dissidia.
- Heroic BSOD: Early in Act 1, when it's brought up to her for the first time that she may not be human.
- Heroes Prefer Swords: Most of her weapons are swords, including her Infinity+1 Sword in the remakes, the Apocalypse.
- How Do I Shot Web?: It takes her some time to learn how to control her Esper side properly.
- Human Mom, Non-Human Dad: Maduin the esper and Madeline the human.
- Human Weapon: She was used as one by the Empire. See Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Hypno Trinket: The specific method behind her initial Brainwashed and Crazy state.
- Impairment Shot: Gets quite a few of these in beginning due to amnesia, headache, exhaustion, and blunt head trauma before she passes out.
- Last of His Kind: Kind of. After killing off Kefka, all of the Espers and magic disappeared from the world due to Kefka's death. The only reason Terra survived this was because she held onto something in the non-magic realm, thus making her the last Esper to survive (depending on how you define the phrase, considering that she is not an esper anymore by this point).
- Letting Her Hair Down: Removes her ponytail as she savors freedom during the ending.
- Magic Knight: She and Celes are the only party members to learn magic naturally, her equipment draw includes swords and heavy armor, the best equipment types in the game, and her stats are all-around high.
- Mama Bear: Threaten her, enslave her, or try to kill her and she'll shrug it off. But if you have the bright idea to threaten her adopted children and attack her True Companions, well... I hope you like fire.
- Meaningful Name: Her English name is Latin for "Earth". Also, her Japanese name, Tina, was picked for more reasons than simply because it was an exotic name in Japan than in the West: Tina is the shortened version of Christiana, which is the feminine form of "Christian", and is also the name of an early saint who was tormented by her pagan father. Similar to that early saint, Terra was tormented by the Empire when they took her as a child.
- Mind-Control Device: Kefka forces her to wear the Slave Crown, making her a puppet to his will.
- My Name Is ???: In the beginning, before the player names her.
- Mysterious Waif: The other party members are quickly sympathetic to her and a good chunk of the first half is devoted to finding out her origins.
- Mystical Waif: The only one anyone's met who can use natural magic (until Celes joins). Also the only living human/esper mix.
- Opera Gloves: She sports elbow-length gloves in Amano's artwork, fitting the delicate young lady archtype of the trope.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: Terra has a pendant which only appears as a key item and is only mentioned once in the story.
- Parental Abandonment: Her father is captured and her mother is killed.
- Personality Powers: Fire — wild, destructive, and hard to control, but if you can manage it it's also very warm and comforting.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: She was a very valuable find for Gestahl until her Slave Crown came off.
- Playing with Fire: Terra's default spells are fire element spells.
- Power Glows: Some Fanon holds that this is actually the explanation for the Barbie Doll Anatomy — the glow is so bright, it obscures her clothes (thus, she's still clothed and wouldn't be showing that anatomy). Amano's artwork has it as a case of Fur Bikini.
- Progressively Prettier: Follow the path of her Esper form from artwork◊ to GBA portrait◊ to Dissidia◊ to smartphone portrait◊.
- Properly Paranoid: She is extremely wary of everyone she meets in the beginning because she's afraid they just want her for her powers. Although the Returners try to emphasize that they don't want to force her... they still basically want her for her powers.
- Redhead In Green: Inverted — she has green hair and red clothing, to hint at both her true magical powers and their fire-elemental leanings.
- The Power of Love: In the World of Ruin, Terra stumbles upon a village of orphans whose parents were killed by Kefka and his Light of Judgment. She starts looking after them, the children take to calling her "Mama", and these new feelings confuse Terra. She eventually realizes that it was love all along and that the future of these children is worth fighting for (she finally understood what General Leo meant about love). It's this, and her love for her true companions, that saves her from going poof like the rest of the Espers and the world's magic at the end.
- Promotion to Parent: For the Mobliz orphans, who she takes care of since all their actual parents died.
- Put on a Bus: After the battle in Narshe and her transformation into an Esper, Terra flies away as her powers go out of control. When her friends find her in Zozo, they discover that she still needs some time to get her head together. The Bus Came Back when the other Returners revisit Zozo after rescuing the Espers from Vector. Terra's regained her memories and made peace with who she is, and she rejoins the party.
- Reluctant Warrior: Isn't much up to fighting in the World of Ruin during her Character Development. Wasn't all that keen on the idea in the World of Balance, either.
- Required Party Member: For the trip to the Esper Gate, you're forced to bring her along since she's the one who actually opens it.
- Rule of Symbolism: For the first half of the game, she's seen as the Messianic Archetype, the one hope to end the war on the Empire and create peace between humans and Espers; her parents are a mortal woman who conceived her due to G-Rated Sex with an Esper, and she helps fight Kefka knowing it might cost her her life. And if you want to, you could stretch her transformation and subsequent incapacitation at Zozo into a parallel of the crucifixion and resurrection — when she rejoins the party after such, she has significantly stronger powers and more control over them.
- Sorry I'm Late: In the second fight with Humbaba, she rushes in to help the party when half the team is blown out of combat and things look dire.
- Super Mode: Morph/Trance: It doubles her magical and physical damage, doubles her heals, and halves all the magic damage she takes (unless they are barrier-piercing spells). This ability is called the Boss Killer with good reason.
- Sword Beam: Her Riot Blade Desperation Attack fires waves of energy at opponents.
- Team Mom: It doesn't quite show until later. This also naturally implies another trope is waiting in the wings at any time.
- 10-Minute Retirement: All characters experience this to some degree in the World of Ruin, but Terra's is the most prominent.
- Took a Level in Badass: Two times.
- The first is after you clear the Magitek Research Facility and she rejoins your party. She has her Super Mode under control now, and she's also a few levels stronger than when she left.
- Later, when she returns in the World of Ruin, not only is she more confident in who she is, but her Trance lasts twice as long.
- Tyke Bomb: She's been raised since she was a baby to be a living weapon for the Empire.
- What Is This Thing You Call Love?: A big issue for Terra. Espers are not naturally emotional creatures, y'see, which leads to her powers being sapped to pretty much nothing while she struggles with learning how to love in the second half of the game. Her brief enslavement to the slave crown also rendered her temporarily incapable of feeling emotions after breaking free of it.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her in-game appearance has green-hair. This has become a case of Depending on the Artist thanks to Dissidia, where she has blonde hair as in her Amano artwork. Subsequent cameos use either color variably, since the green hair is still considered iconic.
"Treasure hunter and trail-worn traveller, searching the world over for relics of the past..."
A wandering adventurer, Locke insists on being called a "treasure hunter", but in practice he's a thief who sometimes takes things that don't already have owners. His lover, Rachel, died in an Imperial attack many years ago, spurring Locke to fight the Empire. Rachel rejected him when she got amnesia saving him from an accident, and Locke blames himself for her death because he left her side and wasn't there to protect her. His dream is to find the legendary Magicite Phoenix, which could perhaps restore Rachel to life.
- Bad Bad Acting: His improvised on the spot acting after he, his comrades, and Ultros unintentionally hijack the Opera.
- Berserk Button: Calling a thief really ticks him off.
- Blackmail Is Such an Ugly Word: How he feels about being called a "thief".
- Bodyguard Crush: Locke swears to protect Celes because she reminds him of Rachel; he eventually falls in love with her.
- Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: When in South Figaro, Locke can steal clothes from merchants and guards to disguise himself, and changes costume with a quick spin around.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: See below.
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: In this case, he'll rip your lungs out if you keep calling him a thief (Ted Woolsey translation only).
- Dressing as the Enemy: During his escape from South Figaro, Locke does this by stealing his enemy's clothes... during combat.
- Failure Knight: Played straight with Rachel. He couldn't save her from her accident and he wasn't in Kohlingen when The Empire attacked and killed her. Averted in the ending, when Locke saves Celes.
- Gentleman Thief: He's not a thief, he's a treasure hunter! But either way, he's quite polite, chivalrous, and friendly.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Twice over. The accident that cause Rachel's amnesia happened when she saved him from a fall in a mountain, so he and her father both blamed him for it. Then he left town to let her start a new life without him, and she was killed in an Imperial attack.
Locke: I never should have left her side. I... I failed her...
- Iconic Item: His bandanna, to the point Celes recognizes it as his when she sees a bird carrying it.
- Insistent Terminology: He is not a thief, thank you! He's a treasure hunter. It's lampshaded in-game immediately after he makes the distinction.
Locke: I prefer the term "treasure hunting"!
Arvis: Ha! Semantic nonsense!
Locke: There's a huge difference!
- Kleptomaniac Hero: He isn't fooling anybody with his Treasure Hunter speech.
- Knife Nut: Locke's class "Adventurer" is modeled after tradition Thieves, thus he mostly equips daggers and short swords. His Infinity+1 Sword in the remakes is the Zwill Crossblade, a dagger.
- The Lancer: To Terra. He accompanies her during two fair stretches of the game, and when she's Put on a Bus, Locke effectively takes over as the leader of the group until she comes back, one segment during that time revealing his backstory at last. His friendly enthusiasm and adventure lust also contrast Terra's social isolation and hesitation during the first part of the game.
- Lightning Bruiser: In sharp contrast to the Fragile Speedster nature of most Thieves in the series, Locke's official job is "Adventurer". The difference is he gets greater access to heavy equipment and the top-tier swords for excellent offense and defense, and he keeps the expected high speed.
- Love Hurts: Locke can't forgive himself for what happened to Rachel until after the Phoenix revives her and she convinces him otherwise.
- Loveable Rogue: He seems to be the sort that makes a point of only stealing from his enemies.
- Meaningful Name/Punny Name/Gratuitous German: Locke Cole comes from a town called Kohlingen, which is roughly equivalent to a town name like "Coalton". His first name may be taken either as a bad Pun (what is it any self-respecting thief ought to be able to get past?) or a reference to the English philosopher John Locke, who espoused "government by consent of the governed" and the theory of Tabula Rasa — Locke is embroiled in a struggle against the Evil Empire and is particularly protective of the amnesiac Terra, due to his backstory.
- Mugged for Disguise: When Locke is trapped in South Figaro after the Empire takes over, he can steal the clothes from merchants and imperial soldiers to disguise himself as one of them. Somehow, this works flawlessly.
- My Greatest Failure: Rachel's accident and death.
- My Greatest Second Chance: As the party escapes Kefka's Tower, Celes drops the bandanna she found on Solitary Island and, as she runs back for it, the floor begins to collapse. Celes begins to hang onto an edge as Locke rushes to save her, and this time he refuses to let go.
- Precision F-Strike: In the Advance translation.
Locke: Dammit! Got to get to Narshe on the fly.
- Required Party Member: With Celes after Zozo, when he comes along to protect her during the infiltration of Vector.
- Take My Hand: During the ending, he dives to grab Celes' hand as the floor crumbles behind them.
- Video Game Stealing: His special ability is Steal, which consists of him leaping at an enemy's sprite to steal an item. Exclusively during his infiltration of South Figaro, he can also steal clothing from merchants or soldiers to use as a disguise.
Edgar Roni Figaro
"The young king of Figaro Castle, Imperial ally, and champion of the technological revolution..."
The King of Figaro Castle, Edgar is not only a genius engineer, but also a shameless flirt and womanizer. Though he pretends to be an Imperial supporter, he uses Locke to negotiate alliance with the Returners behind closed doors. After Kefka attacks his castle, Edgar throws off the charade and joins the rebels in fighting back against the Empire.
- Annoying Arrows: Averted; the Auto Crossbow is a Disc One Nuke capable of one-shotting entire groups of enemies for a long time.
- As Many X as There Are Y: When Kefka inquires about Terra, Edgar responds, "There are more girls in here than grains of sand out there; I can't possibly keep track of them all!" His castle is in the middle of a desert.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He's more than willing to personally fight the Empire, and is one of the most powerful characters in the game for the first part of it.
- Automatic Crossbows: His first (and arguably his most useful, before they become obsolete) tool.
- Blade on a Stick: With the Dragoon equipment, spears and pikes become his most powerful weapons later in the game. In the remakes, his Infinity+1 Sword is the Longinus.
- Blinded by the Light: His Flash tool blares an array of light at enemies to damage them and inflict Blind.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: OK, he's incredibly weird, he'll hit on any female of age, and his icon depicts him with a goofy grin, but he created several advanced machines (including a castle that can submerge into the ground and emerge hundreds of miles away) and is a very good ruler.
- Chainsaw Good: Edgar can use a chainsaw that sometimes kills the enemy in one hit or deal massive damage.
- The Chains of Commanding: After their father's death, Edgar and Sabin were to co-rule. Both wanted out, but at the same time didn't want to plunge the kingdom into chaos with their absence since there would be no heir. So they settled it with a coin toss. Edgar, being the protective brother he is, rigged the toss with a double-headed coin so it landed in Sabin's favor. Thus Sabin won his freedom while Edgar stayed in Figaro to rule alone.
- Chivalrous Pervert: Or at least he tries to be. He's not nearly the ladies man he acts.
- Cultured Badass: Well, he is a king. Though he's not The Dandy, he does dress far more nattily than most of the team.
- Deadly Gas: His Bio Blaster shoots a cloud of poisonous mist over enemies.
- Disc One Nuke: Edgar is easily the strongest member of your team when you get him, thanks to his Auto Crossbow ability which attacks all enemies for more damage than normal attacks will do, so no cost to MP or anything, However, once you get to Zozo and learn magic, its power wanes in comparison to the HP of enemies. Even then, his Drill does excellent single-target damage and many of his Tools can damage Magitek enemies that are otherwise only weak to magic, which comes in handy in Vector. (The Flash becomes particularly useful around this point as well). By the time you get to the World of Ruin though, his power levels out with the rest of the party.
- Dramatic Irony: In the World of Ruin, he masquerades as "Gerad" to take command of a band of thieves that escaped from Figaro Castle when it got stuck while submerging, so they can lead him through the caves they used to escape and he can get into the castle and fix the problem. Yes — the king of Figaro takes command of the thieves he imprisoned so they can break back into the castle they escaped from in the first place. Celes even lampshades this.
- The Dutiful Son: Edgar willingly stayed behind to rule over Figaro when Sabin became so desperate to strike out on his own. Edgar eventually settled the matter with a rigged coin toss that allowed Sabin to leave with a clear conscience.
- Emperor Scientist: To a degree, as he is a rather skilled machinist.
- The Engineer: Early localizations even have his class being Engineer.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Invented a submersible land castle, and fights with mechanical tools in battle.
- Genius Bruiser: He's quite an intelligent man and his Tools make him one of the most hard-hitting party members in the early game.
- The Good King: It's quite apparent all of Figaro loves Edgar and considers him a great king. He's earned that sentiment. See Insists on Paying further down the page.
- Guile Hero: All of his greatest moments involve outwitting someone rather than defeating them through strength. His own twin doesn't always know what he's up to.
- Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: A random effect with the Chainsaw is for Edgar to don a hockey mask and attempt to deal a One-Hit KO.
- Insists on Paying: If you have him at the head of your party while in Figaro Castle, the shopkeepers there will refuse to take any payment from their own king. Edgar insists ("Look, don't you have a family to feed?"), and the player gets a 50% discount as a compromise.
- The Jail Bait Wait:
- King Incognito: Well, sort of. Celes (and probably the player, for that matter) figures out who "Gerad" is immediately, but he keeps up the charade. Fortunately, the criminals he's infiltrating don't know Edgar as well as Celes does, so the trick works on them.
- The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask: It comes off when he talks to Sabin in the throne room. Beneath the noble king is a man who deeply misses his brother and has doubts over his own effectiveness as a ruler.
- Mighty Glacier: He can give and take a lot of punishment, particularly since he tends to stay in the back row, but he's also very slow. The Hermes Sandals relic (which gives him the Haste Status Buff, doubling his speed) makes him into an early Lightning Bruiser.
- Modest Royalty: Although he's clearly seen as king by his subjects, he avoids gratuitous special treatment by insisting he pay them for their wares.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: When Kefka comes looking for Terra, Edgar feigns like he has no idea who Kefka is talking about, much less how Kefka expects him to know if she came to Figaro.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: As the bandit leader Gerad, who looks identical to Edgar but with a Palette Swap.
- Rain of Arrows: His Auto-Crossbow shoots a storm of arrows, three for each enemy on-screen.
- Reluctant Ruler: He didn't particularly want to become the king, but it was him or Sabin and he knew Sabin wanted a life of freedom, so he took the burden for him.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He is the king of Figaro, and one of your most versatile and most valuable party members.
- Significant Anagram: "Gerad" in the English version; his alias is "Geoff" in the Japanese version.
- Small Name, Big Ego: A possible subversion. He's known as a flirt to his subjects (and the children want to marry him), but his banter to Terra and Celes is not reciprocated. If one pays attention, though, he only attempts it once as a kind of greeting and treats them normally from then on.
- Something Only They Would Say: When in his "Gerad" disguise, he tries to get rid of Celes while saying "My Lady". Celes responds that only Edgar would address her that way, and after a moment of silence, he declares that "My Lady" is a fairly common way of addressing someone. In the GBA translation, he refers to Celes as a "beautiful lady", saying that it's common courtesy to be polite to ladies.
- Static Character: Edgar doesn't change personality-wise as the game goes on. He doesn't need to, seeing as his development was completed before the game began.
- Status Buff Dispel: Edgar's Debilitator tool adds an elemental weakness to an enemy. Being completely random, you could easily end up with a fire-spitting dragon that's suddenly weak to fire, and you could reuse it until an enemy was weak to every element.
- This Is a Drill: Edgar's toolset includes one massive power drill, complete with safety helmet.
- Two-Headed Coin: He uses such a coin in his childhood gambit with Sabin, betting which of them will leave the kingdom on the result, knowing that when it comes up heads Sabin will be able to live his own life guilt-free. If he's in the party when Celes is abducted by Setzer, it's strongly implied Edgar passes the coin on to her to use for her own bet, and then Setzer holds onto it. If Edgar and Sabin are both in the party, this will be depicted and Sabin will comment on it.
- With This Herring: The King of Figaro has joined the party! That means lots of resources, right? Wrong, he comes with some basic tools and equipment. It is somewhat justified in that he spends most of the game on the run, or with his kingdom in shambles, and the shops in his castle are more than willing to give him free stuff. He simply insists on paying since they have families to feed, and settles at a 50% discount.
Sabin Rene Figaro
"Edgar's twin brother, who traded the throne for his own freedom..."
When Edgar and Sabin's father died, the two brothers settled the matter of succession in their own way. Sabin, disgusted with the ordeal and wanting revenge against the Empire that was rumored to be behind their father's death, left the castle but never strayed far from the kingdom, training with a martial arts master near South Figaro. When Edgar mobilizes Figaro against the Empire, Sabin joins his brother in the fight.
"A Magitek knight forged by the Empire and tempered in battle. None have ever truly known the woman beneath the general's guise..."
An Imperial General and a Magitek Knight skilled in ice magic, Celes was imprisoned for treason and held captive in the occupied South Figaro to be executed. Locke freed her and she joined the Returners, though not everyone was readily accepting of an infamous turncoat. Celes is popularly considered the secondary protagonist of the game after Terra, or at least third protagonist after Locke. In the World of Ruin, she becomes the viewpoint character for the first segment of the new world and begins Putting the Band Back Together
"He comes and goes like the wind, swearing allegiance to no one. Hidden behind his wintry gaze lies a face known to none who live..."
Shadow is a mysterious ninja for hire who loans his muscle to anyone who can pay his fee, then leaves when it pleases him or when his contract is fulfilled. His true name and his past are a mystery. His lone companion is his loyal dog, Interceptor, who accompanies him everywhere.
"A noble warrior of a foreign land. A faithful retainer to his lord and master, he fears not even death..."
A samurai of Doma, Cyan is an old warrior used to old-fashioned lifestyles and war methods. When his entire castle is killed by Kefka's use of poison, Cyan abandons his home to join Sabin and becomes a member of the Returners. Vicious for vengeance against the Empire, Cyan is wracked with survivor's guilt and blames himself for Doma's fall, ghosts that haunt him throughout the game, eventually in a literal sense.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: His basic Fang Bushido strikes enemies with a defense-ignoring blow.
- Awesome but Impractical: Cyan's Bushido abilites may seem impressive, but it takes so long for the gauge to fill up that it isn't really worth it unless you manipulate your turns so that you select their attacks first and charge up his Bushido while their attack animations are going off.
- Badass Grandpa: This old man had the sheer balls to take on the whole Imperial Army at Doma. And he can win, too.
- Badass Mustache: Cyan has a magnificent mustache, the only party member in the game to have one too.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Spending a night at the abandoned Doma castle in the World of Ruin triggers this as a sidequest.
- Chick Magnet: To Cyan's own chagrin, especially considering he was recently widowed.
- The Comically Serious: He can be rather prudish and is frequently exasperated with Sabin's antics.
- Cool Old Guy: He's 50 years old. Still a master swordsman.
- Counter Attack: One of his Bushido techniques, Sky, is a powerful single slash counter to an enemy that attacks him.
- Covert Pervert: If you look in Cyan's secret box at Mt. Zozo when Cyan isn't in the party, you can find several books, among them Machinery for Dunces, A Pictorial Guide to Machines, Everything about Machines, Machines for the Mechanically Disinclined, and Bushido in the Bedroom.
- Cultured Warrior: He's very skilled at making hand-crafted silk flowers, and he's also a talented poet.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Writes letters and sends flowers to the girlfriend of the dead soldier he met in Mobliz to make her happy.
- Doomed Hometown: He's one of the few survivors after Kefka poisons Doma's water supply.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: His character class. He's also the only one in the game, although presumably there were others in Doma before they were killed.
- Failure Knight: He is one of only two known survivors of Doma Castle. Even his wife and child die when Kefka poisons the river (the other on-screen survivor is an unnamed soldier who together with Cyan is searching the castle for more survivors. He is never seen or mentioned again after Cyan discovers his dead family and goes berserk).
- Flowery Elizabethan English: His dialect in localized editions. It was originally Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe in the original SNES translation, but made much more correct in the Advance retranslation.
- Gory Discretion Shot: His Limit Break "Tsubame Gaeshi" cuts to black as he leaps at the opponent and slices them. We don't see what he does, but it deals a lot of damage.
- Hopeless With Tech: He cannot work any of the technology he comes across to (at one point literally) save his life. A manual found in the World of Ruin implies he's trying to get over it.
- It's All My Fault: He blames himself for not stopping Kefka from poisoning the river, even though there's no way he could have known the bastard was going to do it. Wrexsoul and the Dream Stooges cheerfully exploit his guilt.
- Japanese Honorifics: He speaks using lingo reserved for samurai, including heavy use of "de gozaru", in the original script. The effect was approximated in English localizations as Flowery Elizabethan English.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: Not as exaggerated as other examples of this trope, but there it is.
- Mighty Glacier: Cyan can take a lot of damage and is one of the slowest characters in the game. His Bushido is one of the slowest attacks in the game, but it can do a lot of damage.
- Old Retainer: Identified as such in-game, he is fiercely loyal to Doma and her people and would do anything to protect them.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The death of his wife and son, not to mention his entire kingdom, sends him into one, as he charges toward the Imperial camp.
- Samurai: His character class and way of battle, and he has the noble and honorable personality demanded of bushido.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: The events at Doma leave him broken. His sidequest in the World of Ruin involves putting him back together as his problems have made him prey for mind demons.
- Single-Stroke Battle: His ultimate Bushido, Oblivion, cleaves enemies apart in one stroke.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Due to the character limit. Even with the Advance version's larger character limit, his Woolsey-localized name is still kept.
- The Strength of Ten Men: His character description in the SNES version describes as having "the courage and strength of a thousand men." He lives up to that description when he single-handedly kills the attacking Imperials and later storms their camp alone and holds his own with some help.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Sabin confronts him over his aversion to machines aboard the Phantom Train, Cyan panics and denies it.
- Walking Techbane: He is not good with machines and has a pronounced aversion to them. He tries to learn more about how to use them over the course of the game, though.
- Watching Troy Burn: Shortly after repelling an initial Empire attack, Cyan has to watch nearly everyone in his home castle drop dead from poison, including his king as well as his wife and son.
"Draped in monster hides, eyes shining with intelligence, a youth surviving against all odds..."
An orphaned boy abandoned on the Veldt and surviving among the monsters, Gau is a wild child in the purest sense of the idea. His time on the Veldt allows him to understand the copy the behavior of monsters in battle. Sabin and Cyan recruit him for his aid in escaping the Veldt to get to Narshe, where Gau becomes another member of the Returners. An optional sequence late in the game allows the party to reunite him with his father.
- Badass Adorable: Being able to survive in a fierce wilderness and kick the ass of monsters bigger than you since you were barely old enough to walk should qualify anyone as this.
- Bare Your Midriff: Not so much a shirt as a pelt that he's wearing.
- The Berserker: When Rage is initiated, although unlike the Berserker status in the series, he has a 50-50 chance of either physically attacking, or using the special move related to the specific "Rage" he's using. As an added bonus, if you cast the Berserk spell on him after he's in Rage mode, he will still have a 50% chance of using his Rage's special attack, but his regular physical attacks will also get a power boost.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He doesn't seem to have any interest in the larger situation and is primarily just concerned with his friends.
- Crutch Character: Gau is one of the strongest party members in the World of Ruin if you understand how Rages work and know which ones do what. He can be casting Level 2 magic before the rest of your party has touched their first Magicite shard, and he has other powerful abilities too. However, later in the game the power of his Rages in proportion to normal magic and other special attacks begins to level out. By the end of the game his Berserk status when using Rages heavily hampers his effectiveness, though he remains capable.
- Death by Childbirth: The reason his father went mad and abandoned him on the Veldt.
- Difficult but Awesome: Gau's Rages really demand you use a guide to figure out what each one does, or you can rely on trial and error and just remember. But he is very powerful once you figure it out.
- Ditto Fighter: Fights using the patterns of defeated monsters, even copying their elemental affinities and innate statuses like Float.
- Does Not Like Shoes: To tell the truth, he doesn't like civilized clothing in general, as he finds it cumbersome and uncomfortable. Hence why his best "armor" is the Snow Scarf.
- Fairy Battle: When fighting on the Veldt, Gau is liable to appear at the end of fights to rejoin your party after using Leap.
- Hulk Speak: Frankly it's impressive that he's able to speak with any kind of coherence, given that he was abandoned as a newborn.
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Some Amano concept art showed him naked (but not showing parts). This would have been entirely logical for a Wild Child in Real Life. The in-game graphics and the more well-known art show Gau wearing his more familiar animal skin clothes.
- Insistent Terminology: Thanks to Cyan's speech patterns, he picks up the idea Sabin is named "Mr. Thou."
- Lethal Joke Character: He's completely uncontrollable and all of the Rages he actually starts with suck, which makes many players dislike him. If you train and equip him correctly, though, he can be extremely effective.
- Lightning Bruiser: Perhaps to make up for his uncontrollable nature and inability to equip weapons, Gau has all-around great stats.
- Makeover Montage: During the World of Ruin the party gets him cleaned up to meet his father.
- Mega Manning: His Rages let him copy the attack patterns of enemies the party has defeated.
- Nature Hero: A very friendly one. He was raised entirely isolated from people and his skillset is based around wild monsters.
- No Social Skills: Of course, being Raised by Wolves will do that.
- Parental Abandonment: His mother died when he was born, and his father was driven insane from her death and threw Gau into the Veldt.
- Offing the Offspring: His father, driven mad by grief of losing his wife, threw his own son to the Veldt.
- Raised by Wolves: And other miscellaneous animals on the Veldt.
- Verbal Tic Name: Gau is actually a Japanese onomatopoeia for roaring.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Zigzagged. The Crazy Old Man doesn't have a son, but says that Gau is good enough to make whoever his father is proud. When he recalls that crazy reoccurring nightmare of abandoning a demon-child on the Veldt, Sabin wants to deck him. Gau stops him and says that he's happy his father is still alive.
- Wild Child: Deconstructed, as the game actually looks into the rather terrible circumstances that would produce one, and how completely socially inept such a person would be.
- Wild Hair: Obligatory for the above trope, his hair is green and very long and unkempt.
"A gambling vagabond who finds freedom from society's narrow views of morality aboard his airship, the Blackjack..."
The proud owner of the world's only airship, Setzer is a free man who lives to fly the skies. He is in love with the opera star Maria and plots to kidnap her, only to fall for the ploy of the party when Celes masquerades as Maria and she sneaks the Returners aboard his ship. Conned into helping them and delighting in their trickery, Setzer wears his life to them as little more than another bet.
"An elderly gentleman who has spent his whole life pursuing the secrets of monsters..."
Strago is an old mage of Thamasa, and a master of Blue Magic. Once a monster hunter, he's settled down in his old age to raise his adopted granddaughter, Relm. When Terra and Locke come to the village seeking the Espers, Strago is eventually roped into helping them when he displays his powers and joins the party.
- Anti-Magic: His Force Field Lore chooses a random element and negates all damage and magic of that type.
- Badass Grandpa: At age seventy, he's one of the oldest characters in the series.
- Blow You Away: His wind-elemental Lore, Aero, creates a gale-force wind that manifests tornados around enemies.
- Can't Catch Up: By the time you recruit him, the World of Balance is almost done, and you get him for an hour or two before you move on to the Floating Continent. As a result, you'll have a hard time teaching him even the most basic spells, and in the World of Ruin, he'll be lagging behind everyone else still learning them while they've moved on to the World of Ruin Espers and their end-game magic.
- Cool Old Guy: A wisecracking and nervy old Blue Mage.
- Despair Event Horizon: It is strongly implied that the reason he joined the Cult of Kefka was because he felt he had nothing left to live for due to believing that Relm had died. Thankfully, when Relm reveals her survival, he wakes up.
- Eccentric Mentor: To the party when they enter Thamasa. He pretends he has no idea what espers are or what "magic" is, but later proves himself a powerful mage.
- Elite Tweak: Having problems learning some Lores? Use other's characters' abilities to make the process easier; Gau and Relm can use many Lores via their own abilities, and even Setzer can use one if you're very lucky with (or rigged) his Slots.
- Face-Heel Turn: He loses track of Relm during the apocalypse. Believing her dead, he allows the Cult of Kefka to brainwash him and take him in. He snaps right out of it, though, once he realizes that Relm is alive.
- Fixed Damage Attack: 1000 Needles deals exactly 1000 unblockable damage to enemies.
- Go to Your Room: Tries this, but he really can't control Relm.
- Heroic Sacrifice: His Transfusion Lore has Strago give up his life to restore an ally's stats.
- I Will Only Slow You Down: In the ending, he decides to stay behind because of this trope. Relm doesn't listen to a word of it.
- Making a Splash: His initial Lore, Aqua Rake, and later Cleansweep, attack enemies with water. Aqua Rake manifests as an explosion of bubbles, Cleansweep calls in a tidal wave.
- Mega Manning: As a Blue Mage, he learns Lore skills by watching someone else use them. As mentioned in Elite Tweak, this includes player characters, meaning that he can Mega Man someone else's Mega Manning.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: He's only 4'11".
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Strago's Lores are genuinely impressive, except he's in one of the games of the franchise where magic is ridiculously overpowered. As a result Strago's unique skillset is outdone by the normal spells everyone can learn including him. Their sole advantage is they ignore Reflect, but by the time you get to areas in the game where that's a problem, you've probably picked up magic that ignores Reflect like Meteor or Ultima.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Thamasa forbids its citizens to openly practice magic, especially when outsiders are around, to avoid their powers being found out. When Relm is trapped in a burning house, Strago decides he doesn't care and begins using magic to try and put out the flames in full view of Terra and Locke.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Due to the character limit, the last letter of his Japanese name "Stragos/Stragus" had to go.
- Squishy Wizard: If you equip him right, he can do a lot of damage, but as you might expect he can't take a whole lot of punishment. Not surprising given his age.
- Witch Species: Strago is a descendant of the Mage Warriors from the War of the Magi and as such can use magic naturally.
"In her pictures she captures everything: forests, water, light... the very essence of the things she paints.."
Strago's adopted granddaughter, a ten-year-old girl with a sharp wit and a foul mouth both out of place on someone so young. Her magic manifests in the ability to paint living portraits that attack enemies. Though Strago is often exasperated with her behavior, Relm is always there when the old man needs a kick to get going in the right direction.
- Art Attacker: Relm has the Sketch ability which lets her use the target monster's special abilities.
- Badass Adorable: She's a cute little girl who can paint a portrait of you that kicks your ass.
- The Beastmaster: One relic changes "Sketch" to "Control", letting her directly take command of enemies.
- Bratty Half-Pint: She has no problems sassing her elders even when they include kings and former Imperial generals.
- Canine Companion: If Shadow doesn't rejoin the party in the World of Ruin, Interceptor will protect Relm instead.
- Flashback Nightmare: If Shadow dies on the Floating Continent, you will not find Shadow in the Cave on the Veldt, but instead Relm, who will have a dream of her own that ties in to Shadow's five Flashback Nightmare scenes. But without Save Scumming to many hours earlier in the game, Shadow's fifth dream and Relm's dream cannot both be viewed within the same playthrough.
- Gamebreaking Bug: In the SNES version, the Sketch command has a good chance of crashing the game if used on the wrong enemies. At worst, it can irreparably bork your save. On the other hand, judicious use with save states can lead to breaking the game in the other direction, as demonstrated by this tool-assisted speedrun. It can also net you multiple copies of items you're not supposed to be able to get multiples of, like Illuminas and Atma Weapons.
- Improbable Weapon User: Her primary weapons are paint brushes.
- The Jail Bait Wait: Joked with by Edgar, who cracks he hopes she's still around in eight years. Though given what had just happened, this could also be taken as an incredibly dark joke that he hopes she's still alive in eight years.
- Kid With The Remote Control: The Fake Moustache relic allows her to control monsters.
- Lethal Joke Character: Relm doesn't have very good Strength or weapon options, and Sketch is mostly useless. But she has the highest base Magic stat in the party (even though she doesn't initially know any spells), and her equipment spread also provides her with a lot of magic-boosting options. So with a bit of training and Esper use, she can become very useful. (Notably, she has the highest natural magic stat in the game, although it's quite likely that players will have boosted Celes' and Terra's stats to comparable levels with Espers by the time they recruit her).
- Little Miss Badass: She proves her worthiness by following the party through a dangerous cave and defeating Ultros.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Her disappeared dad turns out to be Shadow.
- No One Gets Left Behind: She has none of it when Strago said to leave him and carries him on her back instead. She's also quite insistent that she not be left behind during her ending segment if she is recruited back into the party but Strago isn't.
- Orphan's Plot Trinket: The Memento Ring, which protects from Instant Death with the power of her dead mover's love.
- Parental Abandonment: Relm's mother is said to be dead in the inventory description of her Orphan's Plot Trinket; her father, on the other hand, is never directly mentioned. Indirectly, there's a million and one hints that he's Shadow. The developers confirmed this in an interview. There was going to be a scene between Strago and Shadow confirming his relationship to Relm, but it was dropped.
- The Pen Is Mightier: Statistically not, but what she draws with it is possibly mightier depending on the subject.
- Puppetmaster: When given the Fake Mustache relic, she can Control enemies.
- Raised by Grandparents: Her adopted grandparent. Her mother died, and her father ran away to be a ninja.
- Running Gag: Her threats to Strago about "painting his picture."
- Squishy Wizard: Like her grandfather, Relm is a powerful magic-user. However, whereas Strago was so old he had a hard time taking blows, Relm is so young she has a hard time taking blows.
- Tagalong Kid: She's an excellent mage and a fun character, but she doesn't have a huge amount of relevance to the plot and mostly comes along because she demands it.
- Useless Useful Spell: Save for a few specific instances, the Sketch algorithm falls into this for two reasons. Firstly, it has the monster's stats, rather than Relm's. Secondly, many elemental or status attack will be likely nullified or even absorbed since monsters are commonly immune to their own status and elemental attacks.
- Whatevermancy: In the Japanese and GBA version, Relm is a "Pictomancer".
- Witch Species: Like her grandfather, Relm is a descendant of the Mage Warriors from the War of the Magi, and as such can use magic naturally.
"A moogle who speaks the words of men, and can summon the earth's power through his dance..."
The leader of the moogle tribe living in Narshe's mineshafts, Mog learned to speak the human language via dreams from Ramuh, an anomaly among moogles. He can use Dances to command the forces of earth against enemies.
- An Ice Person: His Dance attack Avalanche is ice-elemental, and sends a wave of ice and snow over enemies..
- Badass Adorable: A moogle that can be equipped to be a dragoon.
- The Berserker: Like Gau, Mog becomes uncontrollable for the rest of battle or until killed once he uses a Dance. However, each Dance includes four possible attacks with various effects, so he's a bit more versatile about it than Gau.
- Blade on a Stick: Mog primarily uses pikes, but his other Moogle companions use claws, swords, boomerangs, chakrams, etc. His Infinity+1 Sword in the remakes is the Gungnir.
- Blow You Away: His Wind Slash and Sandstorm Dance attacks.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Mog is your guide during an early part of the game where the main characters are separated into three groups, and he explains that you must pick a group in order to progress the story.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's one of the Moogles who help Locke protect an unconscious Terra from the Imperial soldiers trying to capture her near the beginning of the game.
- Combat Medic: His base weapons hit hard and his Dances have great offensive potential, but they also include powerful healing and buffing abilities.
- Cute Bruiser: With proper Esper stat training and the right equipment, Mog can slaughter enemies. And he waves to you before he does it!
- Dance Battler: Learns various dances related to the environment; each has various attack and support techniques.
- Dishing Out Dirt: His Rock Slide and Cave In Dance attacks attack enemies with falling boulders. However, they aren't actually Earth-elemental.
- Flat Character: Has only a few lines of dialogue in the whole game, none of which indicate much of a personality, is the only non-secret party member without a World of Ruin sidequest, and to top it all off, he doesn't even have a unique sprite, looking just like every other Moogle in the game.
- Friend or Idol Decision: Between Mog and Lone Wolf. Choose Mog and you get yourself an Optional Party Member. Choose Lone Wolf and you will get a Gold Hairpin which halves MP cost.
- Geo Effects: How he learns his dances, by fighting on different terrains. Also used in said dances where he attacks with nature-themed abilities.
- Heroic BSOD: In the World of Ruin, the party finds him alone in the cave where the other Moogles used to live, staring at a wall (the item found by inspecting said wall, a memento from his girlfriend Molulu, implies he was staring at it). Then the party arrives and Mog is overjoyed to see some of his friends are still alive.
- Interface Spoiler: In the opening sequence, you get help from eleven Moogles. Oddly, one of them learns an ability while fighting while the others have none, and the others cannot have their equipment modified while the same lone Moogle lets you equip and unequip him like normal. Hmm...
- Jumped at the Call: Ramuh told him via psychic dreams to prepare to join your party someday soon. Mog's response? Cool!
- Killer Rabbit: In the World of Balance, Mog's Dances are wicked strong. In the World of Ruin, Mog makes for a great Dragoon.
- Last of His Kind: The very last Moogle in the Final Fantasy VI world.
- Lost Forever: The Water Harmony Dance can only be learned in the World of Balance via the Serpent Trench or the Lethe River in the original game. The GBA version adds one last chance to get it if you acquire him in the World of Ruin and take him into the optional boss battle with Leviathan, but if you don't, it's Lost Forever for good.
- Magic Dance: Learned through fighting in the relevant environments.
- Making a Splash: El Nino is a water-elemental attack.
- Optional Party Member: Aside from a brief appearance at the beginning of the game, Mog won't join your party during the main storyline of the World of Balance; you have to go slightly out of your way and complete a side quest in order to recruit him. See Friend or Idol Decision, above.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: He's under five feet but a very useful party member.
- Petal Power: His Rage Dance attack sends a wave of slicing leaves at enemies.
- Playing with Fire: His Will o' the Wisp summons spectral fire to damage enemies.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: He's a Moogle. It comes with the territory as a two-foot tall, fluffy white creature with tiny pink wings.
- Shock and Awe: His Plasma attack deals lightning-elemental damage, and takes the form of pillars of energy rising over enemies.
- Tagalong Kid: Assuming Moogles have roughly the same lifespan as humans. He's only twelve years old.
- Uplifted Animal: Learned to speak the human language through a series of psychic dreams with Ramuh.
- Verbal Tic: Mog (and all other Moogles) end their sentences with "kupo", kupo!
- You Can Talk?: The Party's reaction when he is formally introduced, as the other Moogles in Final Fantasy VI, as well as all previous games, just say "kupo". Mog claims Ramuh taught him to speak through psychic dreams.
"A yeti with a love for bone carvings. Stronger than a gigas... but a bit unruly."
Umaro is a mysterious and obscure yeti living in the caves around Narshe, his only companions are the Moogles. When Mog rejoins the party in the World of Ruin, he browbeats Umaro into coming along.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: His method of fighting is to just keep attacking.
- The Berserker: You don't control him. The most you can do is equip him with relics that alter his attack patterns.
- Bigfoot, Sasquatch and Yeti: Explicitly referred to as the latter two.
- Carry a Big Stick: Umaro's favorite weapon is a huge club carved from bone.
- Cursed with Awesome: Sometimes Umaro's uncontrollable nature is a blessing in disguise. He completely ignores the restrictions on attacking in the Cultists' Tower, he can still attack while Cyan is charging his Bushidos, and he'll never do anything stupid in the Coliseum.
- Dumb Muscle: Umaro's muscles are as thick and hard as the mountain stone. So is his head. Mog lampshades this trope as the reason to bring him along: without Mog around to give him commands, Umaro would be helpless.
- Fastball Special: When Umaro has the Berserker Ring equipped, he'll randomly throw party members at enemies for increased damage. Sometimes he'll even throw himself!
- Hulk Speak: He only has a couple lines of dialogue, but he speaks worse than Gau!
- An Ice Person: If Umaro has the Blizzard Orb equipped, he will sometimes attack enemies with an ice storm.
- Lightning Bruiser: He's one of the physically strongest characters in the entire series, has a high HP total and can equip the Snow Muffler (the best armor in the game), and he's surprisingly fast to boot.
- Not Completely Useless: His uncontrollable nature makes him a surprisingly good choice for the Coliseum, and he's completely unaffected by the Fanatics' Tower's restrictions on attacking.
- Optional Party Member: He doesn't have any relevance to the story, being the friend of Mog, who also doesn't have much relevance.
- Secret Character: Hidden away deep in the mines of Narshe, recruiting him is optional. However, Mog gives a hint how to meet him.
- Unskilled, but Strong: Umaro cannot learn magic, equip Espers, or change equipment. What he can do is batter enemies into a pulp with his club.
- Younger Than They Look: Word of God is that Umaro is four years old. Though it was actually four years since Mog had him start counting, so this is likely not accurate.
"A man shrouded in strange clothing... Or perhaps a woman? Perhaps not even human at all...”
Gogo is found deep inside a cave under Triangle Mountain after the party is swallowed by a Zone Eater. And... that's about all we know. As his profile quote demonstrates, Gogo is an absolute mystery. We just know that he is a master mime, able to copy the other party members perfectly, including their abilities.
"You are that last ray of light. Our only hope."
Leader of the Returners
, the resistance group fighting Imperial conquest.
- Badass Preacher: His class in the GBA version is "Oracle", and he heals the party by praying.
- Big Good: Leader of the Returners and thus the commander of those resisting the Empire's control.
- Combat Medic: His Pray ability basically casts Cura on the party for no MP cost, and he can still help out offensively well enough.
- Escort Mission: Oddly, one of the few easy ones (since you can control him, leaving no room for Leeroy Jenkins behavior).
- Guest Star Party Member: Early in the game, he accompanies the party on the escape from the hideout.
- La Résistance: The guy in charge of the Returners that fight to save the world from the Empire/
- The Medic: His special ability is to heal everyone for free.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Officially Banon, but some translations give him "Bannon" instead.
- Supporting Leader: He's the leader of the Returners and thus the driving force in the war on the Empire, but aside from the trip with him to Narshe, he's working in the background while the player pursues various leads on how to gain an edge in the struggle.
- We Cannot Go On Without You: If Banon falls in battle, it's a Game Over. Very irritating for many players who probably shouted "Why can't I use a Phoenix Down on him!?"
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Vanishes from the game once you reach the World of Ruin and is never mentioned again. Though if you think about where he was last seen (in Vector), he may likely be dead. Word of God states you're supposed to use your imagination.
General Leo Cristophe
"You're a human being before you're a soldier."
An elite soldier in the Vector Imperial Army, Leo is their strongest general and one of the most honorable and upstanding men in the Empire, as well as the world in general. His morals put him in direct conflict with the more underhanded and vicious Kefka.
- Ambiguously Brown: His artwork and portrait depict him with dark skin, but his field sprite is peach. This may be due to limitations of the game's color palettes though, since different character sprites often draw from the same palette. The smartphone version darkened his sprite's skin, but it's still lighter than his portrait and artwork.
- Badass Normal: He refuses a magic infusion and thus has no magical powers at all. In the five minutes you control him, he proves that he doesn't need them, he's still far stronger than your normal party members.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears an awesome green military coat.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: In the artwork, to go with Ambiguously Brown.
- Defector from Decadence: Just before he dies, he has finally had enough with Kefka tries to fight back.
- Duel Boss: Leo battles Kefka one-on-one.
- Due to the Dead: Gets a burial mound and funeral scene, sponsored by the people who should have been his enemies but had respect for his kind and noble nature.
- A Father to His Men: He tells his soldiers not to be too eager to rush into battle and think of their families waiting for them to come home.
- Guest Star Party Member: The brief scene in Thamasa where he's the only party member, the awesomeness of which led to the Urban Legend of Zelda in the Trivia tab.
- Hero Antagonist: Sabin describes him as "the guy with the principles".
- Killed Off for Real: Despite what the Urban Legend of Zelda might say, he's not coming back.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: He's a great guy, but his Evil Empire comes first.
- Nice to the Waiter: How do we know from his first appearance that General Leo is an Anti-Villain? He tells an Imperial he's not going to attack Doma again because it'll cause too many casualties on both sides, and doesn't want his men throwing their lives away. That, and he actually speaks to Kefka like a person, as opposed to the heroes and other Imperials who speak about him like the Monster Clown he really is.
- Officer and a Gentleman: He's one of the Empire's best warriors, and he's also polite, noble, values the lives of friend and foe alike, and is disgusted by Kefka's wanton bloodthirst.
- Purposefully Overpowered: When you use him as a party member, he has a powerful sword, a shield that can block magic attacks, a relic to attack four times a turn, and a good deal more HP than your party members unless you do a lot of level grinding. It's to ensure you win the obligatory storyline battle he's used for.
- Redemption Equals Death: He finally turns against Kefka when he witnesses Kefka's genocide of the espers, but it's too late, and he's killed as a traitor.
- Sacrificial Lion: Kefka killing him, his own ally and one of the Empire's best officers, is a sign that any lingering lines Kefka might not have crossed yet have now been crossed.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Evil Empire, he's the only one with a sense of morals.
- Weapon Tombstone: His sword is stuck into his grave.
- Worthy Opponent: He is the consummate worthy opponent — as the characters say, "He could be my friend, if he weren't my enemy..."
- You're Insane!: His Famous Last Words in the GBA translation are to shout this to Kefka before he's killed.
????? (The Ghost)
A spectre encountered aboard the Phantom Train; for some reason, he wants to come with the party, but bows out before they get to the front of the train. If Shadow is not with Sabin and Cyan, a second ghost can be recruited as well.
- Ambiguous Gender: The Super NES release referred to the Ghost as an "it", but the Advance remake uses male terminology.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: No equipment and an ability Too Awesome to Use, but when you do use it (preferably against a strong miniboss on the train), it performs a Heroic Sacrifice to instantly kill the target.
- The Faceless: In his sprite, his portrait has a face, but not a very human one.
- Guest Star Party Member: Only appears in the short Phantom Train sequence.
- Loophole Abuse: Since you can only use the Ghost during a time when you don't fight any bosses, they didn't bother giving the bosses in the main game resistance to Possess, so even enemies immune to instant death will perish. This can only be accomplished with glitches or hacking, though.
- My Name Is ???: Since it's a Ghost that never talks, the party has no idea what to call it, and neither does the interface.
- One-Hit Kill: Possess kills any enemy instantly.
- Revive Kills Zombie: As can be expected, being a ghost.note
- Taking You with Me: Possess kills the Ghost and removes him from the party.
Biggs and Wedge
Two soldiers sent with Terra to attack Narshe, they're promptly destroyed when Valigarmanda stirs.
- Killed Off for Real: Right in the beginning of the game, Valigarmanda destroys them.
- Legacy Character: The first appearance of the duo, now another beloved staple of the series.
- Red Shirt: They don't even get unique sprites or portraits, and are practically interchangeable with each other. They're just there so Terra doesn't have to fight the introductory battles alone.
- Shout-Out: They're named after two Rebel pilots from Star Wars.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Biggs was called "Vicks" (a simple mistake to make—ビッグス vs. ビックス) in the Woolsey translation; incidentally, this mistake carried over into Chrono Trigger.
- Those Two Guys: Even less relevant than usual, given their very brief appearance, but they do talk a little about the war and magic.
Cid Del Norte Marquez
"The power contained within these stones is far greater than what we could ever hope to extract..."
Head scientist of the Empire and the caretaker of Celes, Cid is the mastermind behind Magitek and thus the creator of the Empire's elite soldiers and war machines. When he discovers the truth of how Esper magic works and witnesses their sacrifice to aid the Returners, he begins to rethink some things.
- The Caretaker: He implies he helped raise Celes as a child and has been watching over her during her military career.
- Defector from Decadence: At the banquet, he counts himself as a Returner, because the Empire has just gone too far for him to take after he learned about Magicite.
- Plotline Death: If Celes doesn't feed him fast-swimming fish, or just takes too long to feed him at all. Dissidia: Final Fantasy actually implies that his death is canon.
- Promotion to Parent: On Solitary Island, Celes says that Cid is her "granddad" and she his granddaughter.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: Kind of. He says he was threatened by Kefka, but he was extracting power from espers long before (his process is what created Kefka). He does express remorse when confronted with people who point out how awful his actions are.
A key Returner operative living in Narshe, he's the one who rescues Terra in the introductory sequence of the game. When Banon moves the Returner operations to Narshe, Arvis effectively becomes his second-in-command.
- Dub Name Change: Possibly because his original name "Jun" was oddly Japanese.
- Unfazed Everyman: Arvis is the Returner to go to in Narshe, and tags along with Banon when the Returners travel to Vector for peace negotiations with the Empire. Arvis is resourceful, but he isn't a combatant.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: This trope applies to Arvis in exactly the same way it applies to Banon. See Banon's entry.
A martial arts master living near Figaro, he's Sabin and Vargas's mentor. Some time before the game's events, Vargas killed him to take his place as master of the dojo, but it is later revealed Duncan faked his death.
- Badass Armfold: Takes it to an art form, striking this pose almost every other animation.
- Badass Grandpa: He's old, but he's still a powerful martial artist.
- Faking the Dead: Though it's unknown why he never appears in person until the World of Ruin, or how he survived his encounter with Vargas when everyone (including Vargas) thought he didn't.
- Guide Dang It: In the World of Ruin, not only is his home in a completely different location relative to the rest of the world than it was in the World of Ruin, but it's not even marked on the map, appearing as a formation of trees.
- The Mentor: To Sabin and Vargas, teaching them all he knows about martial arts.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Killed by his own son, or at least believed to be.
- Old Master: Teaches martial arts to itinerant princes.
- Palette Swap: He's got Banon sprites, just with darker coloring.
Setzer's rival, she was the captain of the Falcon
, the other
"only" airship in the world. She went missing after a race with Setzer, and the wreck of the Falcon was found a year later. Setzer restored the craft and put both it and Darill to rest in her tomb.
A traveling swordsman and treasure hunter who pops up periodically, his origins and motives are a mystery. Apparently there's an impostor Siegfried around too, and it's never quite clear when you meet the real one or the impostor.
- The Artifact: The subplot with the impostor Siegfried? Intended as part of the subquest to fight Gogo before he was moved, but that detail was left in.
- Badass Cape: He wears a large dark blue cape.
- Bonus Boss: Bet a Megalixir in the Coliseum to face him in a proper fight. He's moderately strong on his own, but the Duel Boss nature of the Coliseum combined with the fact you can't control your character bumps him up to end-game difficulty, usually requiring a One-Hit Kill build to beat him before he does the same.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Who is this guy? What does he want? Is he a friend or an enemy? How does he know Ultros? It doesn't help that apparently there's an impostor Siegfried running around, so each time you encounter him, who knows if it's the real thing or not.
- The Rival: To Ultros, apparently. Ultros tries to steal the statues in the Esper Caves to get his attention.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Siegfried or Ziegfried? In the Super NES version this is a plot point: the weak goofball you effortlessly spank on the Phantom Train is Ziegfried, who is impersonating Siegfried, the legendary swordsman who hands you your ass on a platter at the Coliseum. Later releases removed the distinction and they're both "Siegfried".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the World of Ruin, you find him trailing Gerad and the thieves into Figaro Castle. Once you get through the cave, though, he vanishes, and it's never revealed what he was doing there.
- Zero-Effort Boss: The fight against him on the Phantom Train is a complete joke. If you're using the Black Belt accessory, he will probably die during his (really weak) initial attack flurry; even if he doesn't, he'll die in one hit to nearly anything. But it's later indicated that the one on the Phantom Train is the impostor.
Maduin and Madeline
Terra's parents, Maduin was the guardian of the gateway to the Esper World. Somehow Madeline found her way there, and the two fell in love and had a child to see if their two races could truly co-exist.
The main antagonist of the game who arguably steals the show, to the point that he's one of 3 characters in the game who has his own Wikipedia
page, the others being Terra and Shadow. He was the first Magitek Knight of the Empire, but the process was still experimental. Something in Kefka's mind snapped that day, transforming him into a cruel and malicious harlequin with an unquenchable bloodthirst. Kefka finds no greater joy in life than in causing death and destruction for its own sake, and as the game progresses he resorts to ever grander heights of the two to make himself laugh.
Also see his self-demonstrating article
- 0% Approval Rating: All of the Imperial soldiers (or at least the ones in General Leo's camp near Doma) often complained about Kefka, with at least one soldier threatening to quit the military if Kefka was ever allowed to become general in Leo's stead. And for good reason: He had fifty of their finest soldiers burned to a crisp via a mind-controlled Terra, and when poisoning Doma, he is also fully aware that any Imperial captives being held at Doma would die of the poison and does it anyways, stating that it's their fault they got captured in the first place.
- A God Am I: Notably the first (though hardly the last) Final Fantasy villain to seek out godhood, and one of the few to achieve it when he absorbs the power of the Warring Triad.
- Apocalypse How: He rips the continents apart and kills a good part of the planet's flora and fauna. A year later some towns are still trying to rebuild and people are having trouble getting crops to grow, so the world is slowly sliding into a deathly wasteland. At the end of the game when the party ticks him off, he seems to set his sights on destroying existence itself, going by his statement of "I'm going to destroy everything! I'll create my own Empire of Death/I'll create a monument to non-existence!"
- Ax-Crazy: All the way. Kefka isn't truly happy unless someone is dying or suffering at his hands.
- Badass Boast:
- Bad Boss: Especially when compared to General Leo. Kefka is not only just as cruel and mean to his soldiers as to his enemies, but a few times in the game he casually kills them off for no reason. Terra's infamous burning of fifty Imperial troopers? Kefka had it ordered to test his control over her.
- Beware the Silly Ones: Despite his clownish appearance and comical behavior, he is still a very dangerous character and a grave threat.
- Big Bad: Central antagonist, direct cause of a lot of misery to the party, and Final Boss.
- The Bad Guy Wins: He actually manages to destroy the world and become a god, and he reigned over the ashes of the planet for a year with his new power. The second half of the game is After the End as the Returners attempt to set things right.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Sort of. Several of the main characters/NPCs have blonde hair (at least in the Amano artwork), just as Kefka does.
- Bright Is Not Good: Kefka wears an outfit with many vivid colors and different patterns on it.
- The Caligula: He's not royalty, but fits otherwise: depraved, manic, selfish, insane, and enjoys suffering and cruelty.
- Classic Villain: Has traits of ambition, but is more closely associated with wrath and insanity.
- Court Mage: Edgar refers to him as such.
- Creepy Circus Music: Kefka's eponymous theme combines this with a military march. It starts out light and bouncy with string and wind instruments, then descends into a loud flurry of drumbeats and cymbal clashes. Which is a good indication of how Kefka himself goes as the game progresses. It's sampled twice in "Dancing Mad", the final boss theme.
- Dark Chick: By the Five-Bad Band dynamics, Kefka is more of this than the dragon.
- Death from Above: After his ascent to godhood, Kefka used his Light of Judgment to deal this to anyone who dared oppose him.
- Depending on the Writer: A case of this occurring via Woolseyism. The English Super NES version of Kefka is characterized quite differently from the Japanese version due to the translation of his lines. In general, the Japanese version is more silly and comical, emphasizing his Psychopathic Manchild traits, while the English translation depicted him as more hateful and malicious, emphasizing his joy in causing others misery. The Gameboy Advance re-release and his Dissidia incarnation took some cues from the English adaptation of his character because of how popular he is in the West, while otherwise remaining true to the Japanese version.
- The Dragon: Fills this role before he murders Gestahl.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Even before he overthrows Gestahl, Kefka's the one who actually confronts the party most of the time, while Gestahl is more of a distant Evil Overlord.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Gestahl wanted to rule the world. Kefka had a different idea.
- Dramatic Irony: Kefka spends a full year causing destruction, but life continued and people still carried on hope for the future. In the end, while Kefka snaps at the party that their lives are meaningless and worthless, his life is the one that has truly become devoid of meaning and worth, because he cast off such things trying to deprive others of them.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: If you're not quite sure how strong Kefka is at any given point of the game, don't worry, he'll be happy to show you. Most prominent at Thamasa, where he deals a Curb-Stomp Battle to at least a dozen Espers, demonstrating he can not only kill them en masse with no trouble, but that he's immune to their powers.
- Dystopia Justifies the Means: Kefka's intention is to create a world full of suffering, because it amuses him.
- Epic Flail: In his earlier boss fights, he has a Morning Star equipped.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Even with their homes burned, mutated monsters roaming the world, friends and loved ones dead, and the world a charred husk, the people of the world, including the party, find the strength to keep living and look for hope for the future. Kefka is at first confused by this, then goes to enraged because it doesn't make sense to him.
- Evil Chancellor: Technically, being the Court Mage and all.
- Evil Counterpart: To both Terra and Celes in different ways.
- Like Terra, Kefka was used as an Imperial experiment and has no friends or family and no real joy in his life. While Terra learned to control her powers and found love, Kefka's powers came at the cost of his sanity and he turned to destruction to give his life meaning.
- Like Celes, Kefka is an Imperial general with great magical power. While Celes has held onto her humanity and principles, Kefka's madness stripped away his, if he had any to begin with.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: He talks a great deal about burning things.
- Evil Laugh: Kefka's "Uwee-hee-hee!" — the only vocalized character sound in the entire game, opera sequence and Terra meeting Valigarmanda aside.
- Evil Sorcerer: He's a powerful magic user, and is deeply evil and power-hungry.
- Expy: Of The Joker. The English localizers of Dissidia apparently noticed this, seeing how they had Dave Wittenberg voice the character in a very similar manner to Mark Hamill's characterization of The Joker.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's a laughing, joking Monster Clown most of the time...at least until he decides to become a stone cold psychopath.
- Follow the Leader: Mimicking Mateus' methods of poisoning a kingdom aside, he himself started a trend of villains who desired to become gods in the series.
- For the Evulz: This is his defining trait — whatever the reason (see Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds further down for an explanation), the reason Kefka causes so much chaos and death is because he has fun doing it.
- From Bad to Worse: No matter how bad things are, he will always try to make it worse. Just take his destruction of the world — it wasn't enough for Kefka to murder countless innocents, rip apart the continents, and unleash mutated monsters on the people, he had to spend his time afterwards blasting the ashes of civilization when he got bored.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He starts the game as a court jester lackey of Gestahl, and by the end of the game, rules the world as a god.
- Generic Doomsday Villain: A deconstruction. Kefka has no over-arcing goal or motivation besides gaining power, destroying the world, and causing trouble along the way. It turns out this is because he's so insane that he's unable to understand morality and goodness, and thinks all life is pointless and empty including his own. Destruction is the only thing that gives him purpose and so he embraces it because nothing else holds meaning to him. Kefka is essentially a show of how broken and crazy someone would have to be to become this trope for real.
- Genius Bruiser: Kefka's very strong in magic, and is probably tall given his height in Dissidia, yet he is also a pretty good manipulator as well as implied to be technologically skilled (piloting and maintaining Magitek armors, single-handedly manning two cranes in Vector to prevent the Returners' airship from escaping, and presumably inventing Terra's slave crown).
- Genocide Backfire: Poisoning of Doma, which resulted in very angry Cyan. In his case, it wasn't really out of fear or hatred of the Domians as much as feeling it is a good kick to do something like that.
- Gone Horribly Right: Ultimately, they did succeed in making Kefka a super-powered magic-user capable of destroying their enemies. He just decided to move on to everything else too.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: The Empire wanted to create a new breed of super-powered Magic Knights, but with the process not yet perfected, it drove Kefka insane.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Has four angelic wings and two demonic wings in his god form. However, they seem to be inconsistent on this — in his Anthology render, Kefka has six angelic wings, while in Dissidia, he has two demonic wings, and his four angelic wings are treated more like they're fused together so he has just two large wings instead.
- The Heavy: In the World of Balance, he serves as this trope as Gestahl's Dragon.
- Hope Crusher: His favorite tactics and sight is when people is in despair or agony. When he becomes a god, he destroys any semblance of hope in the world since he thinks it's meaningless (and a lot better if it's hopeless).
- The Hyena: His pre-recorded sound byte of a cackle is his calling card.
- Idiot Hair: Kefka's hair inexplicably has a feather sprouting from the front.
- Ignored Epiphany: When the party explains to Kefka that no matter what he does life will go on and people will always find reasons to keep living, he lowers his head, turns around slowly... then spins back around and delivers his famous Shut Up, Kirk! comeback.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Kefka could be considered Square's first shot across the bow◊ at cosplayers.
- The Jester: Kefka's overall appearance is similar to that of a Tyrolean Jester, and similar to the trope, it also led to him not being suspected of being as much of a threat until it was far too late.
- Japanese Pronouns: Frequently used Boku/Bokuchin in reference to himself, which gives some significant hints at his maturity level and mindset. He switches to the more polite and formal Watashi, though, by the time you meet him for the final battle.
- Just Between You and Me: Kefka, while maniacally reveling about the power he gained in the Magitek Research Facility, is overheard by the Returners, where he also expresses his intent to revive the Warring Triad. It's subverted because despite being overheard by the heroes, he still succeeds in his plan anyways.
- Kick the Dog: His poisoning of Doma, his murder of General Leo (and his also casting an illusion of Gestahl "admitting" to Leo that he tricked him into having him collect more Espers and magicite for no reason outside of adding insult to injury), his attempted torchings of Figaro and Thamasa, his having Terra burn fifty soldiers under his employ alive, and finally his destruction of the world and his frequently using the light of judgment on the world.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Figuratively and literally, to Gestahl. He eventually kills the old man and gloats over his wounded body before finishing him off, but by that point you're more concerned with what Kefka is going to do once he's done with Gestahl than you are Gestahl getting offed.
- Knight of Cerebus: To the entire series. The villains of the first five games didn't have very deep characterizations or motivations beyond being Evil Overlords who wanted to take over or destroy the world. Kefka had the same goal of world destruction/domination, but he was clearly having fun causing death and chaos along the way just because he could. And when it came time to execute his plan, he succeeded, making VI one of the few Final Fantasy games where The Bad Guy Wins, and the game picks up After the End in the dead husk of the world that Kefka reigns over, and the party tries to set things right.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Variation. It's strongly implied that he was holding back his power significantly when confronted at the Imperial Camp by Sabin and Shadow, and was running away because he didn't want any distractions from dumping poison into Doma.
- Lack of Empathy: He just does not understand the good feelings in others.
- Large Ham: He clearly enjoys himself and provides hilarious lines along the way. "Ahem! There's SAND in my boots!"
- Laughably Evil: He does horrific, violent, inhumane things, but he just has so much fun through it all it's hard to watch his antics and not be amused.
- Laughing Mad: His boss them "Dancing Mad" is the Trope Namer.
- Leave No Survivors: One of his favorite tactics.
- Light Is Not Good: Kefka has a weapon called the Light of Judgment that he uses to destroy towns that oppose him, and in the final battle, he turns into an angelic-looking creature. Also provides the trope image. Heck, even before becoming a god, he basically resembled a very colorful clown, was blond and blue/green eyed, and wore white makeup, and was also heavily implied to have pyromaniacal tendencies (eg, forcing Terra to torch his own soldiers alive, attempting to burn Figaro Castle, having his troops burn Thamasa, was implied to have caused a lot of fires when misaligning the Warring Triad, not to mention the whole Light of Judgment thing). His god form also mixes this with Dark Is Evil, as he possesses a pair of bat wings as well as looking more fierce and demonic than a traditional angel.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Defeating Kefka not only causes his tower to collapse, but seems to herald the rebirth of the planet's ecosystem and the cessation of magic's existence.
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: When he poisons Doma. Also a Star Wars Shout-Out.
Kefka: Hee-hee! Nothing beats the music of hundreds of voices screaming in unison! Uwee-hee-hee! (dumps poison in Doma's water supply)
- Mad God: He seems a bit less insane than before when you confront him at the end of the game, but he's still way off the deep end.
- Madness Mantra: "I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate you!"
- Mad Scientist: Probably, seeing how it was heavily implied that he was the one who invented Terra's Slave Crown.
- Meaningful Name: Aside from his first name bearing similarity to Franz Kafka, Kefka's last name, Palazzo, is Italian in origin that means palace, mansion, and/or castle, and also sounds very similar to Basque pailazo, Catalan pallasso, Greek paliatsos, Italian pagliaccio, Portuguese palhaço, Spanish payaso, Russian payats and Turkish palyaço, which all translate to "clown," and his appearance pretty much makes it clear that the similar names are very fitting.
- Mind over Matter: He was seen levitating two of the Returners with telekinesis when they confront him at the end of the game. Presumably it's part of the whole "god" thing.
- Minor Injury Overreaction: After Celes stabs Kefka, he starts screaming about blood as well as either shouting insults while lying down at Celes or screaming the aforementioned Madness Mantra, depending on the translation. However, in his case, it may just be more showcasing of his insanity.
- Monster Clown: His in-game overworld sprite doesn't look like one (aside from probably the red splotches below the eyes), but he acts like it. In the Amano artwork and the cutscenes added in the PlayStation version, he does look like one. Also, his Fan Nickname is "The Psycho Clown".
- Noblewoman's Laugh: His laugh sound effect, at least in the SNES version, sounds like this.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He, and by extension The Empire, did not know that the best and most efficient way to grow in magical power was to use the remains of dead espers, the Magicite, until the heroes acquired some from spers they had drained through their own inefficient methods. This could explain his leap in power from when fought at Narshe to him single handedly slaughtering the Espers in Thamasa.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Sort of. As silly and comical as Kefka is, he is also very, very dangerous.
- Oh, Crap: "I've got a bad feeling about this..." Said as the Sealed Gate opens.
- One-Winged Angel: Technically, four winged angel, with a couple of demon wings depending on the image.
- Omnicidal Maniac:
Kefka: What's the fun in destruction if no precious lives are lost?
- Orcus on His Throne: To his credit, though, he probably doesn't even need to move from his chamber to destroy the party at the end of the game, but where's the fun in that? It's also implied ("I've prepared some suitable entertainment for you!"/"I've been practicing my greeting!") that he was waiting for the party to fight their way to him so he could fight them again, and created the monsters they fought to get to him in preparation for their arrival.
- Pietà Plagiarism: The third tier of the final battle. When you see Kefka in place of Jesus on the pietà, you simply have to face the facts: the gods are not on your side and never have been, and if you want a savior, you'll have to be the savior yourself.
- Poison Is Evil: Poisons Doma and uses the Poison and Bio spells in battle.
- Psychopathic Manchild: In the Japanese version, Kefka uses the first-person pronoun "bokuchin", which is primarily used by young boys, when joking around or trying to act sweet.
- Psycho Prototype: He was the first Magitek Knight ever produced, but the experimental process, due to it not being perfected yet, snapped his mind.
- Psycho Supporter: Until he takes over, that is.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: There's no doubt that Kefka tries to make everyone's lives as empty and meaningless as he thinks they are. However, in keeping with Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds nudges described further down, his declaration of intent to destroy the very emotions of hope and love comes off as him deciding that if he can't feel those emotions, then no one else will.
- Pyromaniac: He seems to love setting things on fire, seeing how most of his atrocities involve fire somehow.
- Razor Wings: His God form is fond of the physical attack Havoc Wing, his AI script allowing him the potential to use it every single turn, and later in the battle using it twice in a row.
- Sanity Slippage: Kefka slides down the hill of sanity rather nicely throughout the game. At the beginning, he seems to be just doing his job, but, well, he tumbles down the slope quickly. One moment of mention is on the Floating Continent where despite all the power he's gained, Celes manages to trick him and actually stab him with a sword and draw his own blood. The moment he completely loses it is just before the last battle, after the heroes have given their self-help book speech.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: His famous rebuttal at the end of the game to the mentioned self-help book speech.
- Slasher Smile: He's a sprite with No Mouth much of the time, but you just know he's sporting one of these. Dissidia tells us that he definitely is.
- The Sociopath: He has no understanding of morality, no impulse control, manipulates the emotions of others, is a rampant liar, and resorts to ever greater extremes to slake his thirst for destruction. Kefka ticks all the boxes.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: The peaceful segment in the 4th part of "Dancing Mad".
- Spell My Name with an "S": He's "Cefca" in the Japanese release. Lampshaded in the newer translation, which has one guard in Figaro Castle mention a fringe cult that spells his name with "C"s and not "K"s, and that it doesn't really matter since it's the same guy either way.
- The Starscream: He has a major problem with being a servant, and by the time of Thamasa, he's not even hiding that he's taking power for himself instead of Gestahl.
- Starter Villain: Serves this role before becoming the Big Bad. Kefka is the face of the Empire for the first quarter of the game or so, and the battle with him at Narshe is effectively the climax of that portion of the game. Afterwards, Terra transforms, the party heads to Zozo, and attentions turn to the Empire and the Espers. Kefka is still prominent, but he doesn't take center stage again until the Floating Continent.
- Straw Nihilist: While he really starts being this only after destroying the world, you still gotta admit that when taking everything else that Kefka was into consideration, this really wasn't something that boded well for the world of Balance.
Kefka Palazzo: Why do people insist on creating things that will inevitably be destroyed? Why do people cling to life knowing that they must someday die? Knowing that none of it will have meant anything once they do?
- Stripperiffic: In his final form, he wears what appears to be a single length of purple cloth wrapped around his loins.
- Suicidal Cosmic Temper Tantrum: With more emphasis on Temper Tantrum. When the party tells him that all his destruction and chaos has failed to wipe out life and people are rebuilding and still have hope, Kefka snaps and goes on a berserk rampage, deciding that he simply hasn't gone far enough yet.
- Super Move Portrait Attack: Pops up during the Forsaken move.
- Super Prototype: Kefka is being far stronger magic-wise compared to the other Magitek Knight seen, Celes Chere. For one thing, he has Blizzara, Poison, Drain, and all three of the 1st level Fire, Ice, Lightning spells at Level 18. Celes, at the same level, only has Blizzard, Antidote, Imp, Cure, and Scan. Take note that she was created after Kefka was.
- Super Soldier: The prototype, actually. You know what that means.
- Team Rocket Wins: Kefka is a laughable threat until he gets some major magical upgrades from the Espers and becomes a killing machine in Thamasa.
- Took a Level in Badass: It's jarring to see him go from running away from a lone Sabin (granted, Shadow could be there as well) through an entire camp full of his army and having to run away with his tail between his legs from the collective party, to kicking the party's collective asses twice, then killing the best soldier in the Empire, without using any magic, and a small army of Espers on his own that were able to thrash the Capital City of the Empire. And that's just the start of the madness.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Early in the story, he either runs away, is left in the dust, or is blown away.
- Villainous Breakdown: The entire game follows Kefka slowly but surely sliding even deeper into complete madness than he already is. He's actually kinda normal, if still evil and cackling, when you first meet him in Figaro. But by the end of the game...
- Villainous Harlequin: If not for Terra's flashback, this would have been the first impression of him.
- Villains Never Lie: After the party reaches the part of the Magitek Factory where Espers are being held in captivity, Kefka enters and declares that Celes was a mole. Locke believes him, forcing Celes to perform a non-lethal variant of a Heroic Sacrifice to save Locke.
- We Have Reserves: This is Kefka's general approach to warfare. He broke the siege of Doma Castle by poisoning the water supply, killing everyone inside — including women, children, and even some Imperial soldiers that were being kept as prisoners of war.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
- When you first sneak into Vector, if you can get all the way up to the Cafe where all the Imperial soldiers are hanging out, one man will tell you what he knows of Kefka's backstory. Oddly, just hearing the broad outline and filling in the rest with your imagination is almost scarier than knowing the details.
- In addition, it's only at the end of the game that Kefka's nihilism and contempt for life become apparent, possibly because becoming the God of Magic and spending a year burning the burnt husk of a dead world gave him time to reflect on things.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
- Perhaps one of the darkest interpretations of the trope, evidence in the original game and Dissidia suggests it isn't so much Kefka not seeing the value of love and hope as it is he actually can't understand them anymore, his mind is just too far gone, and destruction is all he has to bring joy and meaning to his life with everything else beyond his understanding now. His famous end-game speech in VI is reused in Dissidia, but with a very obvious tone of despair to the words, Kefka seemingly lamenting the meaninglessness of life rather than declaring it.
- The Ultimania guide to FFVI suggests that Kefka was once one of the Empire's top generals. After the Magitek infusion damaged his mind, he was forced to step down and reappointed as Gestahl's personal lackey, then made to oversee the perfected Magitek Knights; Terra and Celes. What really drove him over the brink was watching Leo take up his former position and outdo him in every aspect.
- When the Returners give their collective "World of Cardboard" Speech at the end of the game, Kefka looks down and turns away for a moment, seeming distinctly sad. Unfortunately, that's when he really goes off the deep end.
- And finally, Kefka's Dissidia 012 museum profile implies that he was Driven to Suicide in the final storyline because he thought destroying himself might finally satisfy his insatiable need to destroy.
Leader of the Empire (and, by default, the world) with grand ambitions and a batshit-insane Dragon.
Gestahl discovered the ancient legends of Espers and invaded their homeworld to build a magical army and begin a campaign to conquer the world. However, when Kefka has finally had enough of taking orders, he usurps Gestahl at the height of his power and kicks him to his death off the edge of the Floating Continent.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Gestahl appears with Kefka thoroughly on his side on the Floating Continent. And then Kefka must show them the meaning of power...
- Big Bad: In the World of Balance, though Kefka is established as the Dragon-in-Chief in that portion.
- Disc One Final Boss: One of the first bosses to invoke this trope, but the technology of the time (cartridge) made it less opaque. Still, when the player is confronting Gestahl, one can't help but think the game is a little short.
- Disney Villain Death: Kind of, he was zapped by the Warring Triad at Kefka's command, and is later kicked off the edge of the Floating Continent by Kefka.
- Dub Name Change: From "Gastra" in Japanese.
- The Emperor: His title and position as the ruler of the Empire.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He desired to rule the world, but when Kefka decided to demand that the Warring Triad expose their true power, he attempts to stop Kefka, feeling that it was going too far. In addition, when Kefka murders General Leo, he claims that he'll simply report that he disposed of a traitor as an excuse for murdering him, implying that Gestahl would not have approved of Kefka killing General Leo, even though he manipulated the latter, unless there was good reason.
- Evil Old Folks: He's in his 60s and is the main antagonist. Flashbacks imply he's been at working building the Empire and conquering the world for over 20 years.
- Evil Overlord: Ruler of the Empire from the capital of Vector, spends much of the game never being seen, wants to Take Over the World...
- Godzilla Threshold: Eventually tries to use Meltdown on Kefka. Keep in mind Meltdown is one of the most powerful spells in the game and hits the enemy and caster parties for heavy damage. Gestahl was clearly desperate.
- Go-Karting with Bowser/No, Returners, I Expect You to Dine: After the Espers razed Vector, Gestahl seemingly has a change of heart (or at least realizes that after the Esper attack he has no chance against the Returners), asks for the ceasefire, invites the party to the dinner party, blames everything on Kefka, asks the party to find the espers and negotiate with them to prevent another War of the Magi. The party doesn't fall for it, but they play along since they really need to convince the Espers not to destroy everything. And they leave behind lots of people to uncover the plans.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Gestahl meets his doom at the hands of his genetically altered Super Soldier.
- Karmic Death: It's very fitting that Emperor Gestahl dies at the hands of Kefka after he was responsible for having Kefka infused with magical powers, and had him Promoted to Scapegoat when things started going wrong. Add additional karmic points for the fact that Kefka kills him using the power of the Warring Triad, the very things he has pursued all of this time.
- Military Brat: According to the Final Fantasy VI timeline, Gestahl was from a well-off military family. It's also strongly implied that his father was heavily involved in a large coup that resulted in Vector becoming an Empire.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Let's see... He's an amazingly charismatic dictator attempting to conquer the world, his troops are obliquely compared to Nazi stormtroopers in a reference to a scene from Star Wars, his troops use the "Nazi arm-raise salute", he keeps Espers in a Magitek Research Facilitynote , and... oh, he wanted to create a "master race" by breeding Celes and Kefka. His characterization is also quite similar to Mussolini and his Facism movement, especially when taking into account the fact that he was essentially trying to resurrect an old empire of Magic.
- Obviously Evil: Wears black and red robes, is an old man, and styles himself The Emperor.
- Playing with Fire: Uses Firaga, Flare and Meltdown when he attacks Kefka on the Floating Continent.
- Pragmatic Villainy: In the SNES version, at least, Emperor Gestahl tries to stop Kefka from doing something that will cause The End of the World as We Know It, because he wants to rule the world, not blow it up. Kefka kills him. In the GBA version, his final words were "The world will now experience true fear..." before being kicked off by Kefka, implying that it was closer to Even Evil Has Standards.
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: His robes are red and black, and he's the only character in the game with that color scheme.
- Redemption Equals Death: In a sense. He realized just how dangerous Kefka was and tried to stop him from ending the world, and got killed for his efforts. Probably more a case of Pragmatic Villainy as described above.
- This Cannot Be!: His reaction to Kefka surviving the best spells Gestahl can throw at him.
- The Unfought: Kefka zaps him before you get the chance.
- While Rome Burns: Orders a banquet and dines with the Returners mere hours after Vector was attacked by the espers. The buildings are still burning when you leave afterwards.
- The Worf Barrage: His magic barrage against Kefka serves to show just how powerful Kefka has become.
The Warring Triad
Three ancient gods that effectively created magic as it is now known, they created the Espers in the crossfire of their feuding but turned themselves to stone when they realized the struggle was destroying the world. They are named Demon, Fiend, and Goddess.
- Absolute Cleavage: Goddess' "clothing" is two strips of material over her breasts, leaving her torso between them bare.
- Barrier Maiden: Their alignment keeps their own powers in check. Move them out of alignment and the imbalance of power drastically reshapes the known world.
- Bowdlerise: Fiend and Demon were renamed to Doom and Poltergeist/Poltrgeist in the SNES and PS Version, and Goddess was give more clothing in the SNES version.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Demon is red, Fiend is primarily blue with gold wings, and Goddess wears blue and bears a gold crest. Dissidia assigns them colors in a roundabout way — the three circles that appear during Kefka's EX Burst are in the same formation as the Triad, and Demon's is red, Fiend's is yellow, and Goddess's is blue.
- Cosmic Keystone: Their safety is key to the continued prosperity and existence of the world and magic.
- Dub Name Change: Demon and Fiend were renamed Poltrgeist and Doom in the Super NES release.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: They each correspond to one of the three basic elements in the game's magic system. Demon is Fire, Fiend is Ice, and Goddess is Lightning.
- Female Angel, Male Demon: The two male gods are obviously demonic while the female is angelic.
- God Is Evil: Though their backstory reveals they realized the havoc they were causing and stopped, by the time you find them in at the end of the game, they're fighting for Kefka for whatever reason. Hell, thanks to Kefka absorbing most of their energies, they barely even qualify as gods by that point.
- Good Wings, Evil Wings: Demon has angel wings, Fiend has demon wings.
- Infinity+1 Sword: Demon drops the Radiant Lance, Fiend drops the Mutsunokami, and Goddess drops the Excalibur. In the original Super NES release, the former two were the strongest weapons of their kind. Excalibur was outclassed by the Ultima Weapon, Ragnarok, and Illumina, but getting the latter two meant passing up the Ragnarok Magicite that taught Ultima.
- Lost Forever: Hope those of you aiming for 100% Completion brought Strago to fight Fiend, because he's the only enemy in the entire game who knows the Force Field Lore. Averted in the Advance port, where you can fight Fiend again... if you feel like dragging Strago through the Soul Shrine.
- MacGuffin: They serve as this in the first part of the game, as the source of the strongest magic in the universe.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Fiend has four arms.
- My God, What Have I Done?: This is the reason why they sealed themselves as statues in the first place.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Concept art reveals they were named Sophia (Goddess), Zurvan (Demon), and Sephiroth (Fiend), but the names are never given in-game.
- Secret Art: Tyrfing for Demon, Fiendish Rage and Force Field for Fiend, and Overcast for Goddess. Quasar is not exclusive to Goddess, but it is likely she'll be the first enemy you see using it, since of the only other two with it, one is a normal enemy you're likely to kill before it uses it, and the other is the GBA-exclusive Gilgamesh.
- Snake People: Demon's concept art depicts what ended up being his sprite as the torso of a long snake body.
- Shout-Out: The rest of the series contains subtle references to them, such as three statues in Kuja's palace resembling them, and Yunalesca resembling Goddess in her second form.
- Stripperiffic: Goddess. She actually got censored in the SNES version with lengthened clothes.
- Taken for Granite: They turned themselves to stone centuries ago.
- Two Guys and a Girl: The male and female Demon and Fiend, and the female Goddess.
The Eight Dragons
Eight ancient and powerful dragons sealed in the earth, they were unleashed when Kefka moved the Warring Triad out of alignment. They reappear in the Advance
bonus dungeon Dragons' Den with their boss, Kaiser Dragon.
- Actually Four Mooks: The reborn Ice Dragon appears as a group of four, but their sprites overlay on top of each other so you can't pick out a specific one to target.
- An Ice Person: Ice Dragon, the Dragon of Ice.
- Anti-Magic: The reborn Gold Dragon in Dragons' Den absorbs all magic.
- Badass Boast: Kaiser Dragon's greeting to the party when the player finds him.
- Barrier Change Boss: Kaiser Dragon shifts his attack patterns and elemental properties throughout the battle.
- Battle Amongst the Flames: Kaiser Dragon recycles the "burning house" background for the battle, resulting in this.
- Berserk Button: For some reason, the reborn Skull Dragon has a special hatred of Terra, and will unleash his strongest attack every fourth turn if you happen to have her in your party.
- The Berserker: The reborn Earth Dragon eventually enters an Unstoppable Rage and starts attacking you four times every turn.
- Blow You Away: Storm Dragon, Dragon of Wind.
- Bonus Boss: Technically, all of them are optional encounters.
- Boss Rush: In the Soul Shrine in the Advance release, their eight reborn incarnations plus Kaiser Dragon are the final opponents.
- Bragging Rights Reward: Congratulations, you defeated Kaiser Dragon and won the Diabolos Magicite! Pretty pointless now since all that's left is the Soul Shrine — the spells Diabolos teaches are pretty useless since odds are everyone knows Ultima, and his level up bonus, in terms of pure Min-Maxing, just means party members get a half-dozen or so extra stat points.
- Cast From Life Span: The reborn Red Dragon will eventually expire once it puts all its energy into blasting you with the most powerful attacks it can, including Ultima. It's entirely invulnerable until it does, so the party can only endure its onslaught.
- Color-Coded Characters: Aside from the black and grey Storm Dragon and green Skull Dragon, the Eight Dragons are colored pretty much just as you'd guess given their elemental typings as listed below. And even with those two the coloring fits.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: They know how players are likely to play and have AI scripts to take advantage of it.
- Earth Dragon's earth elemental attacks can be avoided by casting Float. He has an attack to neutralize Float. Meanwhile, he himself is floating and the reborn dragon absorbs earth, so his earth attacks that hit enemies and allies alike don't hurt him.
- Blue Dragon's AI script has it scan for party members with status buffs, then it inflicts itself with status ailments and uses Rippler to swap its status ailments and buffs with yours.
- The reborn Red Dragon will use Ultima to deal a Total Party Kill, then a final Flare in case you cast Reraise on anyone.
- The Holy Dragon starts off Genre Blind and becomes this in the rematch. The original uses only Holy, and the player is encouraged to use Reflect Rings in the dungeon where you fight it, thus all its attacks will be Reflected and it can't harm you. The reborn Holy Dragon uses Heavenly Wrath (a powerful physical attack), Heartless Angel, and Saintly Beam — namely, it pointedly uses attacks that cannot be Reflected.
- Subverted with the Gold Dragon, who is Wrong Genre Savvy. It may absorb all magic, but its weakness is water, and it turns out Flood is one of the few spells that can't be absorbed, not to mention Strago's water-elemental Lores also cannot be absorbed.
- Deceased and Diseased: The undead Skull Dragon uses status attacks and is Poison-elemental.
- Dem Bones: The name "Skull Dragon" should be a clue.
- Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Gold, Earth, and Ice Dragon are palette swaps of dinosaur-type enemies.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Earth Dragon, Dragon of Earth.
- Dummied Out: Kaiser Dragon is actually a reimagining of "CzarDragon", a Bonus Boss found in the coding of the original Super NES release but never implemented in the game. Various text in the Super NES release also alludes that a rematch with the Eight Dragons was also planned and would have used the gimmicks of their reborn selves.
- Early Bird Boss: The game encourages you to visit Mt. Zozo pretty early on. You are encouraged to step on a switch that releases the Storm Dragon, one of the stronger of the original eight. First timers usually come up against it first.
- Elemental Powers: Each Dragon embodies one of the eight elements of the game, with Kaiser Dragon invoking All Your Powers Combined and combining it with Non-Elemental, using a variety of attacks.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: They all have elemental weaknesses except for Holy Dragon.
- Foreshadowing: A certain NPC describes them, along with Humbaba and Deathgaze, as one of the ancient monsters of the world.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Holy Dragon, Dragon of Holy.
- Infinity+1 Sword: They all guard powerful weapons in the original game, though usually not the strongest of their types. Their reborn incarnations, however, do drop the strongest weapons.
- Making a Splash: Blue Dragon, Dragon of Water.
- No Cure for Evil: Averted with the reborn Holy Dragon, it has Auto-Regen and a 66% chance to counter any attack by casting Curaga on itself.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Holy Dragon is originally the weakest of the Eight Dragons. The reborn Holy Dragon is one of the strongest, and in particular has learned Heartless Angel as a counter-attack. Factor in that it uses Saintly Beam, which cannot be Reflected or absorbed by Runic, and the fact that there is exactly one equipment piece to absorb or nullify Holy attacks, and you're looking at a Total Party Kill if you aren't careful.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Red and Holy Dragon are the only ones to be a Palette Swap of another one of the Eight Dragons; the other six use their own sprites among the group, and thus their appearances vary wildly.
- Playing with Fire: Red Dragon, Dragon of Fire.
- Power Up Letdown:
- The reborn Blue Dragon is pretty much the same as the original, just higher stats. Its "gimmick" is just that it inflicts more status ailments on itself when using Rippler as described above, but it still only does that if you use your own status buffs.
- If you brought along Celes to fight Red Dragon, she can use Runic to absorb all of its spells.
- Secret Art: They all get one in the Dragons' Den, aside from Earth Dragon and Storm Dragon, who had theirs originally.
- Red Dragon: Red Fang and Eraser.
- Blue Dragon: Blue Fang.
- Ice Dragon: Freeze.
- Holy Dragon: Heavenly Wrath.
- Earth Dragon: Honed Tusk.
- Storm Dragon: Leaf Swirl and Wing Saber.
- Skull Dragon: Apparition and Fear.
- Gold Dragon: Mighty Claw.
- Kaiser Dragon: Last Breath.
- Shock and Awe: Gold Dragon.
- Took a Level in Badass: Their reborn incarnations in Dragons' Den are far higher tiers than the originals. The Holy Dragon is particularly notable — the original is entirely incompetent and a party with Reflect Rings is invincible, but the reborn version is one of the most powerful of them.
- Universal Poison: Skull Dragon, Dragon of Poison.
- Weaksauce Weakness: The first time you come across most of them, anyway, or in the SNES version. The Ice Dragon is subseptible to Mute, the Dirt Dragon is easily put to sleep, the Holy Dragon is especially Mute-subseptible (as it has absolutely no physical attack), Red Dragon can be confused and Rasped down to nothing... the list goes on. The only ones that can't be locked down easily are the Blue Dragon and Storm Dragon. However, the Blue Dragon is fought so late into the game that he's likely a pushover by that point. Appropriately, the Storm Dragon, fought early on if you follow the nudges the game gives you, is considered the strongest dragon.
A recurring octopus boss with a fondness for bad jokes
. He pops up to harass the party and cause trouble for them for no real reason other than he can and he seemingly has nothing better to do with his time. His pal is Chupon/Typhon, a fire-breathing monstrosity that acts as his hired muscle.
For more info on his appearances in spin-offs, see the Recurring Character sheet
- Boss Banter: He never shuts up in any of the battles.
- Braggart Boss: Constantly boasts he's octopus royalty that's going to thrash the party.
- Breakout Character: He's just this side of Gilgamesh, having become a recurring boss in the series, but isn't as popular or widespread.
- Combat Tentacles: Naturally, since he's an octopus. His trademark attack is Tentacle.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods
- Evil Duo: With Typhon. While Ultros is a goofy and ineffectual wisecracker, Typhon is his Dumb Muscle bodyguard.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Where does Ultros come from? Why does he hate the party so much to pursue them around the world attacking them? Why did he even attack them in the first place? Mysteries that will likely never be solved.
- Goldfish Poop Gang: Ultros' continued pestering of the party serves to just annoy them every time he arrrives.
- Harmless Villain: His battles in VI were never all that difficult to begin with, and he was never as formidable as his more rarely-seen friend Typhon. In the World of Ruin, Ultros is forced to work indefinitely as a receptionist to pay off his crippling debts. You can see him and speak to him as often as you please, but his role as a villain has ended.
- Jerkass: Ultros is this in spades. While he is the game's Plucky Comic Relief, he's also downright mean. He attacks your party several times throughout the game for no reason other than just because. In the battle against him in Crescent Mountain, he mouths off to Relm, a little girl who just wanted to paint his picture. This causes the party to stop fighting and berate Ultros for making a little girl cry! He eventually caves in. Of course, Relm had ulterior motives for painting his picture, but Ultros didn't know that and still reacted badly to it.
- Kansai Regional Accent: How he speaks in the original Japanese.
- Large Ham: He's always shouting and his sprite is sporting a wacky grin.
- Laughably Evil: Uwehehehe! Look at him! He's a receptionist!
- Took a Level in Badass: In the third battle with him, after a period of time he'll gain powerful elemental spells and will become much stronger, and can even pull off a Total Party Kill if you aren't careful.
An ancient monster released in the apocalypse that terrorizes the children of Mobliz.
- Breath Weapon: In the climax of the second fight, he uses Humbaba Breath to blast away two party members.
- Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Is weak to Poison-elemental attacks in every appearance.
- Fixed Damage Attack: He has 1000 Needles for a guaranteed 1000 damage.
- Foreshadowing: A certain NPC describes him, along with Deathgaze and the Eight Dragons, as one of the ancient monsters of the world.
- Recurring Boss: First fought by Terra, then by your party the first time you visit Mobliz. On your second visit, he is first fought by your party, then by Terra, who is permanently in Esper form for this battle, as well as the remants of your party that wasn't blown away by his Humbaba Breath.
- Rule of Three: He finally dies in the third battle.
- Shock and Awe: He loves using lightning attacks, and he absorbs it as well.
An ancient monster released in the apocalypse that flies about the world terrorizing the people.
- An Ice Person: His main offensive spell is Blizzaga.
- Blow You Away: He also attacks with Aero.
- Bonus Boss: Arguably a superboss in the game's original release, he's got end-game HP, loves to spam powerful magic, and drops a very powerful Magicite shard.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold: As evidenced by his spells, which focus on Instant Death, Wind, and Ice.
- Foreshadowing: A certain NPC describes him, along with Humbaba and the Eight Dragons, as one of the ancient monsters of the world.
- Get Back Here Boss: Flees after a few rounds of battle, but can't regenerate his HP after combat, so you can wear him down after repeated encounters. It's hard to track down a monster that could be anywhere in the world when you have no way to tell where he may be. You're going to be spending a lot of time flying around looking for him.
- Giant Flyer: A huge flying enemy who wanders the world preying on people and is fought aboard the airship.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Though the "gaze" part of the name is a bit out of place, the meaning of his full name is obvious.
- Noodle Incident: Even Dissidia remarks that how Bahamut's Magicite piece ended up in his mouth is something no one knows.
- One-Hit Kill: Opens with Level 5 Death, and loves to spam the normal Death spell.
- Total Party Kill: He opens every encounter with Level 5 Death, potentially wiping your group out before their first turn if they're at all at a level multiple of 5.
A rival of Sabin, that trained with the same master, his father Duncan.
- Deceptive Disciple: He was Duncan's loyal son and student, but prizes power above anything else, and betrayed and killed his master when he felt he had been shunned.
- Duel Boss: For the second part of the fight with him, the other party members are blown away for Sabin to fight him one-on-one.
- Evil Counterpart: To Sabin, as a fellow pupil to Duncan, but Vargas prizes power over discipline and honor.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He was Duncan's son and best student, but he wanted command of the dojo and turned on his father when he thought Sabin was chosen over him.
- Rival Turned Evil: To Sabin. The two were both Duncan's pupils, and Vargas claims Duncan favored him and so hates him.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His antagonism towards Sabin is based on the fact that his father Duncan chose Sabin to be his successor instead of him, even though Sabin claims otherwise.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He appears very early on, and is never seen nor heard from again afterward. Even immediately after the battle, it's unknown if he died or if he just ran away. His unique "death" animation makes it all the more ambiguous. They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character? Looks like we'll never know...
An Esper living in the human realm, he calls Terra to him when her powers awaken.
- Ascended Extra: Before this game, summons (excluding Bahamut and Odin) didn't get a lot of character exploration. Ramuh was no exception. This time, aside from Valigarmanda and Maduin, Ramuh could be considered the most plot-important Esper in the game.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Turns himself into Magicite to grant the party his power to help save the other Espers.
- The Mentor: Has shades to Terra and the party, explaining many things to them and helping Terra learn to control her powers when she first transforms.
- Mr. Exposition: Appears to plot dump a lot of backstory on the party, then performs a Heroic Sacrifice. However, he avoids As You Know; everything he brings up is stuff the party didn't know, or thought was only legend.
- My Greatest Failure: He isn't very proud that he fled the Empire and survived while his friends were still trapped in the Magitek Facility.
- Shock and Awe: Teaches Thunder and Thundara, and uses a Lightning-elemental attack when summoned.
- Small Role, Big Impact: He only has one scene, but it shifts the entire tone and direction of the story.
The leader of the Esper Realm.
The frozen Esper excavated in Narshe that kickstarts the plot of the game.
- Aborted Arc: Once the Returners try to wake it up, they forget about it for the rest of the World of Balance. Justified in that the first time they tried it, most of them almost got thrown into a chasm and Terra lost control of her powers and transformed the first time, so trying again would be risky to the point of stupid.
- And I Must Scream: It still has some sense of awareness when inside the ice, able to defend itself with magic in the World of Ruin. Possibly subverted in that, once he finally wakes up, he's confused about whether or not the War of the Magi is still happening.
- Dub Name Change: In the SNES release as Tritoch. Let's be real here — "Valigarmanda" was never going to fit.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Teaches Firaga, Blizzaga, and Thundaga, and uses a tri-elemental attack when called into battle.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: While the Returners fail to wake Tritoch up the first time they try it and subsequently leave it alone for the rest of the game... unless you, as the player, make them go back and try again.
- Giant Flyer: It's field sprite is quite huge, even if it's likely not to scale.
- Interface Spoiler: In the story, it's only ever referred to as "the frozen Esper", except that right at the start of the game in the Super NES version, when your party enters the battle screen to play out a cutscene, you can see its name displayed in the enemy listing. The GBA release changed this first scene so it is simply called "Frozen Esper"... but they did not change the second instance when this occurs after the battle with Kefka.
- Kill It with Fire: Or rather, free him with fire by melting him out of his icy prison. Either that or chip him out of there with barrier-piercing attacks like the Phantom Rush, Locke's Valiant Knife or some of Cyan's Bushido techniques.
- MacGuffin: Its existence and the desire to obtain it drive the first several hours of gameplay.
- Meaningful Name: The Dub Name Change. See "Fire, Ice, Lightning" above.
- Sealed Badass in a Can: One of the most powerful Espers in the game once you thaw it.