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  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Some fans have taken Terra's "looks like a bear" comment about Sabin to mean...something else. Doesn't help that Sabin takes it as a compliment.
    • In the SNES/PS1 translations, if the Scan spell misses, it reads as "Unable to probe target!" If you know one of the definitions of probe, it takes that on a whole new level.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Here.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Kefka himself can fall into this. Thanks to the open world nature of the World of Ruin, combined with the number of playable characters to rescue, you can easily end up pretty highly leveled with access to some of the best stuff in the game by the time you have all 14 characters and proceed to Kefka's Tower. Even pointedly avoiding the non-character recruiting dungeons, like the Fanatics Tower and Ancient Castle, you'll still be plenty strong enough to face Kefka and win handily. The three tiers of monsters you have to fight before you encounter Kefka are often more challenging than he is himself. And if you do do those sidequests, it's fully possible to kill him in one or two rounds without trying very hard.
  • Author's Saving Throw: While the iOS/Steam version is widely disliked for its bad sprite work, some of the sprites are a definite effort to this trope. Many characters have new sprites that more closely resemble their concept artwork and how they've been depicted in spin-off games, with the most prominent examples being Gogo and Kefka. Even characters who weren't radically redesigned, now that they're free of palette and sprite size restrictions due to technical limitations they've had their sprites tweaked to resemble their art more — Gau has green hair, Edgar has blue and gold armor, Setzer's coat has its gold trim and he has the ruffle on his shirt, etc. Then there's General Leo, who was Ambiguously Brown in his concept art and portrait but had the same skin tone as everyone else in his sprite—now his sprite has a darker skin tone that more closely matches his art and portrait.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Characters that aren't Sabin, Edgar, Gogo, Locke, or Shadow (and the latter three are So Okay, It's Average in comparison to the Tier-Induced Scrappy of the first two)
      • Many of the special abilities for the different characters are interesting but just not well-suited for such an easy game. Mog, Gau, Setzer, and Relm all tend to have abilities based upon random attacks that work like spells except that they cost no Magic Points. Except this is in a game where regaining magic points is laughably easy even if you weren't using the Economizer or Gold Hairpin. Having the character act randomly isn't near worth getting an ability free of magic points, and they might not even use that ability at all!
      • Apart from a couple of fights, Celes's Runic ability is as much of a detriment to your own party as providing the benefit of absorbing magic.
      • Terra's Morph ability allows her to double her physical and magical damage, but not only does the limited duration fall into Too Awesome to Use territory, there's only a very minimal amount of time where A. You have access to Terra, B. She has access to Morph, C. You are fighting an enemy tough enough to make the extra damage helpful, and D. You aren't already near the damage cap anyway.
      • Cyan's Sword Techniques (until the iOS version) force the whole party to go on hold waiting for his better abilities to charge up. The strongest technique can only be used on enemies that you could have already killed while waiting for the ability to charge.
      • Strago's Blue Mage Lore spells are interesting, but force you to bring him into specific fights to learn them. While an interesting alternative, they don't really offer much tactical advantage apart from ignoring Reflect, a spell very few enemies use anyway.
    • The Cursed Shield found in Narshe in the World of Ruin. The shield has negative stats and gives status effect penalties, but if you wield it in battle often enough, the curse will be removed the shield will turn into the awesome Paladin Shield which also teaches Ultima, giving you the option to have both the Ultima Sword AND learn the Ultima spell. What's so bad about that? Well, the shield requires two-hundred and fifty-six battles before the curse is removed, and you receive it near the end of the game. By the time you get around to removing the curse, your characters will be so high level that they should be able to Curb Stomp all enemies anyway. It is actually a Self-Imposed Challenge to obtain the shield early enough and use it such a way to remove the curse while still not becoming too high of a level.
  • Awesome Music: The pieces players tend to remember most fondly are Aria De Mezzo Carattere, the centerpiece of the Opera House sequence, as well as the final phase of "Dancing Mad", the final boss theme. The Awesome Music page for the Final Fantasy series lists many more.
  • Awesome Video Game Levels: Final Fantasy VI is remembered in part for having some of the best dungeon design in the entire series, if not the best. Some highlights include:
    • The opening. You play as an unnamed girl in a Magitek weapon. You have an insane amount of power for the opening fights, and the atmosphere is mysterious and quite chilling.
    • The Magitek Research Facility, featuring one of the best music tracks in the game, several intense boss fights and, finally, a frantic mine cart chase.
    • Or, of course, the Opera, perhaps the most perfect blend of story-telling and gameplay in an RPG.
    • The music in the Phantom Train is one of the best as well, and culminates with Sabin suplexing a friggin' train!
    • The Floating Continent is another highlight, despite also being That One Level. The fact that it has a truly awesome soundtrack doesn't hurt anything, nor does the party's epic confrontation with Gestahl and Kefka. Nor does the fact that it leads into possibly the most devastating plot twist in the game.
    • The Phoenix Cave, another That One Level that still manages to be awesome, has to rank high on the list too. It's so complicated the party has to break up into two groups to progress through it, and each group has to help the other progress.
    • And then there's the unforgettable Kefka's Tower, which outdoes the Phoenix Cave's complexity by requiring three groups in order to get through, solving puzzles to help each other scale the twisted mountain of debris, with the music lending itself to some of the greatest tension ever in a video game.
  • Badass Decay: Espers are a far cry from the all-mighty demigods Summons are in other games, though this is appropriate since most of the Magicite you get has been drained of most of the Esper's power. Most of the attacking Espers are too low-power to be of use; Ifrit, Shiva, and Ramuh deal less damage than the tier-two spells of the same element, and the tier-three spells are stronger than any Esper save Bahamut, and only because he ignores magic defense. Healing Espers are plain useless, since every one of them teaches a Cure spell that is more powerful than than Esper itself. The status ones can be useful, like Unicorn, Golem, and Phantom, but you then run into the problem that they're Too Awesome to Use, as you can only summon an Esper once per battle.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the Narshe mines, you find a room used to test applicants to the city guard, where you must pick the proper path through a maze. Picking the wrong path results in lights surrounding you; tagging the correct light dispels them, tagging wrong initiates a battle with undead enemies, then you're sent back to start. Besides this part of the quest coming out of nowhere, serving no purpose, and never being mentioned again, one must wonder how the Narshe guards set up such a test that is clearly using magic in some form, when magic is thought to be a myth and normal humans can't use it.
    • The Imperial Air Force sequence. While flying to the Floating Continent, a squadron of flying Mini Mechas attack the airship, forcing the party to fight them off. In the middle of the battle Ultros flies in on Typhon and he engages you, ending with Typhon blowing the party off the deck. While in freefall over the Floating Continent, the party then fights the Air Force boss, which seems to be a sapient airship with two scowling faces as gunner attachments. The FMV in the Anthologies release notwithstanding, nothing in any of the game's releases hints that the Empire even has an air force, so they show up out of nowhere and then vanish back to nowhere after and no one brings them up ever again. Not to mention that Ultros' entire schtick is being a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, and in this instance so is Typhon.
    • In the Returner hideout, you can find a random scrap of paper by a table. If you notice it but don't throw it away, Banon later remarks on it during the planning scenenote . It's completely optional to find in the first place, nothing ever comes of it either way, and it just comes across as a very puzzling choice of Easter egg.
  • Breather Boss:
    • Tunnel Armor, if you pick up the Thunder Rod in the cave; use it as an item to cast a defense-ignoring Thundara on it, ending the fight in one hit.
    • The Phantom Train, thanks to the Revive Kills Zombie mechanic typical of the series. Good thing since the level leading up to it can be rather difficult, with your lack of a magic user, magic users among the enemy, and potentially only two party members to fight it with if Shadow ran off beforehand.
    • The Flame Eater in Thamasa. It only has 8000 HP, not very much thanks to its Ice weakness and the party's widespread access to Ice-elemental weapons and spells, and your two required party members, Terra and Locke, were mandatory for long dungeons previously and thus are probably well-trained and equipped. Also, you find an Ice Rod in the mansion just before you face Flame Eater, which when used as an item casts a defense-ignoring Blizzara — a Tranced Terra using the Ice Rod can deal 9,999 and one-shot the Flame Eater on the first round.
    • Likewise, by the time you've beaten Soul Shrine, the fight with Omega Weapon is likely to be a Curb-Stomp Battle. It doesn't help that unlike Kaiser Dragon, Omega doesn't have any sort of speech or dramatic entry, he's just randomly there.
  • Breather Level:
    • The journey to Jidoor is pretty lax, likely to give players a chance to recover after the story and gameplay intensity of the three scenarios and the siege of Narshe, and this is the first time the player has the freedom to form their own party from all the characters they've recruited, so you can take that opportunity to try out different party configurations and get a feel for how they synergize. Very much made up for by the fact that your next destination after Jidoor is Zozo, That One Level.
    • The burning house in Thamasa. The only enemies you encounter are Balloons, which are weak to Ice and Water; Strago joins the party with a very spammable Water/Wind elemental Lore that can wipe out even six Balloons at once, so he can basically solo the entire place. That aside, you also have Terra and Locke in the party, who are required party members for two previous long dungeons and are probably well-prepared for battle, and if they know Blizzara they can also solo the entire dungeon. The boss of the place is the Flame Eater, who is also a Breather Boss. This is probably an apology for the fact the two dungeons before this (the Magitek Research Facility and the Cave to the Sealed Gate) were very long, very difficult dungeons, and in an hour or two you'll have to go to the Floating Continent, another That One Level.
    • Narshe in the World of Ruin. Most of the enemies in the area only use physical attacks, which aren't too strong, and have mediocre HP. Things are a little tougher in the mines, where Magna Roaders can cast tier two magic, but it is still manageable. If you come here immediately after getting the airship, you'll be fine; if you come here later in the World of Ruin with a higher-level party decked out in much stronger gear than you had at Darill's Tomb, the enemies are laughably weak.
    • The Cave in the Veldt. Most of your encounters in it will be Twinscythes, who only use weak physical attacks. Occasionally a Grogimera appears, but it also only uses physical attacks until its 4th turn and it probably won't live that long.
  • Broken Base:
    • Some love the World of Ruin for being a completely open world experience once you get the Falcon, allowing players the freedom to re-recruit their party members in almost any order they want, explore the side-dungeons in any order they want, and it gives every party member closure on their personal story arc. Detractors point out that the overarcing story pretty much peters out here, the game instead focusing on resolving character arcs instead of any external plot, and Kefka, up until then a very active and threatening villain, is reduced to an Orcus on His Throne who is apparently content to just wait for the party to get to him in the final dungeon.
    • Arguments over if the SNES or GBA script is superior. Some love the SNES version for its nostalgia and Woolseyisms, which add a lot of charm and flavor to the game that the more straightforward GBA script lacks (for instance, most memes of the game come from the SNES version). The GBA version gets praise for having a script more faithful to the original Japanese, which includes better characterization of some characters and better translations of some parts the SNES muddied. There's also disagreements on the names for enemies, items, and equipment, and everyone has their own personal preference on which individual enemies and items each version named better.
    • The esper system. Supporters love it for the degree of versatility it offers characters, with players able to teach them specific spellsets and boost certain stats to build characters the way they want. Detractors dislike that the ability to teach characters every spell and raise their four primary stats to high levels makes everyone a Master of All with little uniqueness in how they play. Then there's a group that dislikes that, for pure Min-Maxing, espers are a lot of busywork to keep track of when characters are going to level up so they can receive the proper stat bonus when they do, and some players even advice keeping their levels low until they acquire espers, so they can get more level ups with them and thus more stat training. Since there is no natural stat growth like in other Final Fantasy titles (all characters gain the same amount of HP and MP at the same levels and no other stat increases), you have to pay attention to esper level bonuses if you want to train your party properly.
    • The age old question of what to do with Ragnarok — take the sword, which is one of the most powerful weapons in the game and can be bet in the Colosseum to obtain the Lightbringer, the most powerful weapon in the game; or take the Magicite, which teaches Ultima and its summon ability can transform enemies into items, letting you farm very rare items like Megalixirs, Miracle Shoes, Safety Bits, Ribbons, and Exp. Eggs. No one agrees entirely on which is the better choice. Two major factors are if you're willing to put in the time to uncurse the Cursed Shield (the Paladin Shield is the only way aside from Ragnarok to learn Ultima), or if you're willing to put in the effort to find out which enemies can be transformed into those rare items to farm. The GBA version and subsequent ports based on it cooled this a bit since the Ragnarok sword can be farmed from an enemy in the final battle, but that still means not getting the Lightbringer until the bonus dungeon, so there's still something to be said for giving up the Magicite for the sword.
  • Complete Monster: Kefka Palazzo was the court jester of the Gestahl Empire, but through treachery and atrocity he rose through the ranks and eventually became the world's most dire threat. His notable actions include putting a slave crown on Terra Branford and making her kill fifty of his own troops to test his control before making her attack an innocent village; poisoning the Kingdom of Doma's water supply against direct orders—killing innocents, including children; brutally murdering the noble general Leo by cowardly tricking him with illusions playing on his loyalty; and killing the Espers at Thamasa—along with his own men—without any remorse. Kefka reaches his worst, however, when he betrays and murders Emperor Gestahl and uses the power of the Warring Triad to turn the world into a poisoned wasteland. In the World of Ruin, Kefka rules on high, killing and tormenting on a whim with the Light of Judgement across the whole world. Finally confronted by the party, Kefka is incensed that they managed to find hope in this dying world, and proclaims he will destroy everything and create a "monument to non-existence". Misanthropic, nihilistic and deriving pleasure from suffering and destruction, Kefka serves as one of the most iconic and singularly vile villains in the entire franchise.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The Slam/Veil Dancers in Zozo. When they are alone, they cast Ice 2/Blizzara, Fire 2/Fira, and Bolt 2/Thundara, which can either one-shot a single character or ravage your entire party. In groups, they also carry a move that puts a party member to sleep. However, a lone Slam Dancer is very useful for restoring Celes's MP for free - as long as you don't screw up your timing on Runic and get blasted.
    • Literally every monster on the Floating Continent. Ninjas love to hit the entire party with powerful elemental attacks and you can't run from encounters including them. The Behemoths have powerful physical attacks as well as Meteor/Meteo. Dragons can not only use Revenge Blast to dish out crazy damage, but can use Snort/Sneeze to remove party members from battle, leaving the remaining two open to a pummeling. Even worse, if you Rasp away their MP to stop Revenge Blast, they start using Tail, which is almost as bad. The Brainpans will Stop multiple party members (through Smirk), leaving them open to tremendous damage from everything else, and one-shot them with 1000 Needles/Blow Fish. Misfits will shred you with Lifeshaver (although you can turn that against them with Gaia Gear). Platinum/Wirey Dragons have high offense and defense, lots of hitpoints, no weak points, and attack in groups of 3. Apocryphas/Apokryphos are usually pretty benign, but Level 4 Flare hits for about 1200, which is going to one-shot you if you're not obscenely overleveled. And the Chest Monster you find early on, Gigantos, will attack two or three times a turn and its special attack can deal upwards of 1000 damage.
    • Two of the three monsters in the Collapsing House. You're on a six minute time limit to get in, grab the kid, and get out; however, the place is loaded with some crazy powerful items you'll want to snag. However, several of the chests are Chest Monsters, the Scorpions come in groups of three and inflict Doom/Condemned status, and Zokkas/Hermit Crabs can inflict Petrify with their final attack — which wouldn't be so bad except that since Celes is likely to be the only member of the party at the time, getting petrified is an instant game over.
    • In Darill's Tomb, you can be grateful that the Orog only appears in the first room of the tomb. On their first turn, they have a 66% chance of using Zombite, instantly turning a party member into a Zombie. Then they have two individual 33% chances to use it again in the same turn, potentially incapacitating three of your party members, at a time where if you skipped Sabin you only have three and thus this is a Total Party Kill. And even if you do have Sabin, don't relax yet, because the Orog can attack in pairs.
    • There's also the Blade/Soul Dancers in Jidoor. They throw knives, which ignore both row and defense. Even the lowly Dagger/Dirk, when Thrown, hits for around 800 damage. And the longer the fight goes, the stronger the knives they throw are. Spend too much time and they'll be throwing high end knives that hit for the 9999 damage cap. It's even worse if they're accompanied by Crushers. Crushers have an unusually high physical attack, a special move that is a triple-damage physical attack, and, when alone, they have a chance of countering everything with Lifeshaver, which drains a large amount of your hitpoints and restores that same amount of theirs. Crushers aren't quite demonic spiders on their own, but the combination of Blade/Soul Dancers and Crushers is hellacious.
    • The standard physical attacks of Mantodea/Greater Mantis will likely do over 3000 damage, killing any character that isn't significantly overleveled. You can first encounter them when your maximum HP is around 2000 or so. They're also found in conjunction with Sprinters, who are pretty benign on their own but who'll cast White Wind and heal the Mantodeas.
    • Face/Phase, a Palette Swap of Brainpan in the Phoenix Cave. Like Ninjas, you can't run away from them, ever. They frequently use 1000 Needles/Blow Fish as an occasional counter to everything. Adding to that, they can sometimes be paired up with Zeveaks/Parasouls, who can confuse you, and Necromancers, who have an annoying tendency to slap the Zombie status on unsuspecting party members and, when alone, will start to use Death/Doom, Banish/X-Zone, and Flare spells. It's this enemy that may be the real reason why the Phoenix Cave is That One Level.
    • The Tyrannosaur. It comes armed with an unusually powerful physical attack, an even more powerful physical attack called Bite that will pretty much always kill the target, and they cast Meteor, which will hit the entire party for around 1500. Oh, and if they attack in pairs it's always a pincer attack so you can't flee. That being said, and because they're worth a lot of experience and MP they're a nice level grinding target - and since they're only found in an out-of-the-way forest that you won't visit unless you deliberately seek it out, you won't be subjected to fighting them if you don't want to.
    • The Brachiosaur, the Tyrannosaur's bigger brother. Found in the same area of the World of Ruin, this thing opens almost every fight with Disaster, which inflicts a baker's dozen of status effects on everyone in your party. In addition to having 46,000+ HP, very high defenses, and the ability to eject characters from the fight with Sneeze/Snort, it can also cast Traveler, which inflicts (number of steps you've taken /32) damage, Meteor, and even Ultima. Its only saving grace is that if you fight it in the Colosseum, it only uses magical attacks (and with the right defensive build, make even those totally ineffective).
    • The Cultists' Tower is difficult on its own, but two of its' denizens in particular are tough to deal with. L.20 Magics love to cast Banish/X-Zone, which is an instant death attack that ignores the reflect rings you'll be wearing. If you get in a fight with more than one of them and they cast Banish multiple times in a row, you're staring a Game Over in the face. It doesn't help that they have inherent Reflect status, and no elemental weaknesses to take advantage of. Then there's L.90 Magics. They use Meteor and Merton/Meltdown, which likewise cut through your Reflect Rings and will likely kill you if you don't cast Stop or Bserk/Berserk on them. The problem? Both Stop and Bserk are reflectable, and Level 90 Magic has inherent Reflect status too! The other problem? Meltdown damages everything in a battle, friend or foe, but the L.90 Magics absorb both fire and wind elemental, so Meltdown heals them!
    • Many enemies in Kefka's Tower:
      • The Sky Base, which counters any attack with up to four uses of Blaster, a One-Hit KO attack that can hit the party. It has a low hit rate, but with four uses the odds are not looking good for it to miss all four times...
      • The Scullion. It can inflict Doom on you and spams Wave Cannon and Atomic Ray.
      • Innoc/InnoSents attack in threes and open every battle with each of them using Brainblast to potentially Confuse three party members. Then they spend their time spamming Plasma, a powerful single-hit Lightning attack, or Freezing Dust, Freezing a party member. And every fifth turn they can use Lv.? Holy, which will hurt if it hits.
      • The Retainer/Yojimbo. A relatively inconspicuous foe, low HP, only uses physical attacks and Wind Slash...then you kill it. When it dies, it always uses Tradeoff/Eye for an Eye on the party member that dealt the final blow, inflicting Instant Death. It can be blocked like a physical blow, fortunately, so hope you have high Evasion (or Mblock on SNES or PSX) because it ignores Instant Death protection.
      • Also from Kefka's Tower and usually in the same rooms is the Outsider/Cherry(Madame in the Woolsey translation) battle. The former have auto haste and love to spam throwing weapons while the latter has access to powerful spells such as meteor and white wind, which is a healing spell that targets all allies and its caster. What makes this fight even more annoying is that it is very difficult to escape. Fortunately. Outsiders are not immune to instant death attacks so Banish/X-Zone has a good chance of removing them.


  • Ending Fatigue: The ending sequence is one of the longest on the SNES, clocking in at about thirty minutes.
  • Enjoy the Story, Skip the Game: The game is well-remembered for its expansive cast and great story, which are top-notch and some of the franchise's best, providing players with many iconic moments. The gameplay however is ridiculously broken and exploitable to the extent some consider VI to be one of the easiest games in the series, giving most party members absurdly powerful abilities early on that let them wipe out enemy parties in one round and the enemy won't hit back very hard. Most infamous is that it's possible to kill the Final Boss in one turn, and a single character can solo the entire gauntlet of enemies before hm if you're careful.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • General Leo, for being one of the only major decent citizens of the Empire and a Four-Star Badass to boot. His unwillingness to be fused with Magitek power, along with proof that he is more than capable of holding his own without it, definitely helps. Before there was Aerith, there were rumors of ways to revive him and recruit him as a permanent party member.
    • Ultros managed to take on this role too, being one of the most memorable characters in the game. He's a flipping octopus, what more is there to say?
    • Sabin became one thanks to the incident that turned him into a Memetic Badass, but also thanks to getting some of the most amusing lines in the game.
    • Relm. She's cute as a button, surprisingly sharp-tongued, and once you can get the hang of her unusual combat style, she turns out to be inexplicably powerful with the highest base magic stat in the game. Yes, that includes Terra. Having a unique theme all to herself and turning out to be Shadow's daughter doesn't hurt either. You'd assume with all that she'd be an important character, right? Wrong. She has just enough lines to establish her character quirks and personality, and is otherwise completely superfluous.
    • Setzer, especially on account of his Cool Airship, the Blackjack.
    • Shadow the assassin and his dog Interceptor. He's the classic Ninja.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • There was some fan speculation that Kefka was formerly Baram, Shadow/Clyde's partner in crime that he failed to give a mercy killing to. There's no evidence to suggest it, but that's why it's called speculation.
    • Gogo seems designed to grow them. S/he could be Relm's mother, Baram, Banon, or Senator Adlai Stevenson.... Or More Likely the boss, Great Mime Gogo, of Final Fantasy V with the same name who cast himself into the void upon defeat, VI Gogo's ablities even work like the Mime Job V Gogo was guarding (FFV was not released outside Japan till long after VI, known elsewhere as FFIII, thus many players at the time did not catch the references.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Big time with VII. Fans and critics alike will point to either as the best Final Fantasy games ever, or even one of the greatest video games of all time. There's also the rivalry between Kefka and Sephiroth for who is the superior villain, and even which of their musical themes is better.
  • Fanon:
    • Terra is often portrayed in fanworks as too naive to realize that she's being flirted with due to the scene with Edgar at the beginning. The only thing is, that scene wouldn't work if Terra was too naive to pick up on the flirting. She clearly recognizes it, but is troubled by the fact that she has no emotional reaction to it.
    • Many fans like to spell Celes' last name as "Chère," as it's the feminine form of the French word for "dear/treasured/precious".
    • Many fans believe that the Gogo that appears in this game is the same Gogo from Final Fantasy V, as the end of his "fight" ends with him throwing himself into the Void, and Gilgamesh, who debuted in that game, canonically travels through the different games through the power of the Void. He also works the same way as that game's Mime Job
    • While fans have always liked to pair up Ifrit and Shiva, their appearance here is often credited with popularizing it.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • A fairly significant portion of the fanbase ships Terra/Locke, despite the fact that Locke/Celes is the Official Couple. Celes/Edgar and Terra/Edgar is also a fairly common ship, and the Japanese fanbase for Terra/Sabin is quite significant.
    • Setzer: Setzer reacts with interest when Terra's name is first mentioned, and Terra is the only person to ask Setzer a personal question during the whole World of Balance; when the world is destroyed, it's Setzer who grabs Terra from the split deck of the Blackjack. Setzer will save Celes in the ending instead of Locke if Locke is not present. Celes will also encourage Setzer to fight Kefka and to recover his friends' airship, snapping him out of despair.
    • Special mention for the Kefka/Terra (Japanese) fanbase. There is definitely a good bit of fanart for them.
    • Some fans also ship Terra and Celes. Celes in the ending is frightened that Terra would disappear, and shows grave concern for her fate. After they escape the tower, it is Celes that looks for Terra, finding her unconscious on the airship's engine and pulls her off. Celes is shown standing behind Terra when she takes off her headband in freedom. This suggests that Celes should be in the party whenever they are in Mobliz for Terra's recruitment.
    • Bartz/Terra is popular among certain circles. The fact that neither of them have an official love interest helps.
  • Foe Yay: Kefka takes delight in Terra's destructive magical abilities, but it's not hard to interpret his delight as sexual attraction. In Terra's flashback, Kefka gleefully announces "You're all mine!" when he places the Slave Crown on her head. In Dissidia, Kefka's line to Terra — "Time to come home to Papa!" — could also be interpreted as a sign of his attraction to her. Fan art depicting Kefka and Terra together is easy to find.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Say it with us now: Kefka! Or rather, Ted Woolsey's Kefka.
      "Son of a submariner!"
      "I HATE HATE HATE (repeat x number of times) HATE YOU!"
      "'Wait' he says. Do I look like a waiter?"
      "This is sickening! You sound like chapters from a self-help booklet!"
      "Run run, or you'll be well done!"
    • And of course, his laugh.
  • Game-Breaker: See the full list Here.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • Woolsey clearly had a classical education: Not only is Terra a counterpart to Celes (Earth and Sky), but in the famous Opera House scene, Celes replaces Maria, a famous singer. One of the most famous opera divas in history was named Maria Callas.
    • The final battle with Kefka is a dark, twisted parody of The Divine Comedy, with Kefka as God and the three tiers of enemies before him as Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The Japanese just find Kefka annoying. Woolsey drastically altered his character in the translation, turning him from a simple Monster Clown into a nihilistic maniac whose goofy mannerisms and wacky lines are little more than a facade to cover his undying hatred for everyone and everything. The Western fans loved it and he's quickly risen through the ranks over the years on the lists of the greatest video game villains of all time.
    • Heck, the entire game is like this. Among North American fans it's one of the most popular games, especially among old-school SNES players, and considered a big rival to its successor. However, in Japan it was considered a step down from Final Fantasy V, which Japanese players loved due to its Job System, customization choices and sheer cuteness. Conversely, many Western fans hate FFV for those exact same reasons. Yoshinori Kitase himself has said that he often has Western fans ask him to autograph their Final Fantasy VI cases when in Japan he'd expect more for Japanese fans to ask the same of Final Fantasy VII. In Kefka's case, this is mostly attributed to the changes made in the localization which in turn would influence his portrayal in the Japanese versions of his future appearances.
  • Goddamn Bats:
    • Level 80 Magic in the Cultist's Tower seems designed to frustrate players who think Reflect Rings will make them untouchable. All it ever casts is healing magic (all levels of Cure, Reraise, and Esuna). This is hardly a problem if you're unprotected, but if you have Reflect, it takes forever to kill it. Thankfully, it's weak to poison - not that this makes having a powerful attack immediately followed by a bounced Curaga undoing all the damage any less annoying.
    • Outcasts in the Cave to the Sealed Gate, and their palette swaps, the Misfits, on the Floating Continent. They'll inflict Blind on the party, and use the Lifeshaver attack; and with their high magic, if they've been sufficiently damaged, it'll likely KO whoever it hits while healing the user. They're probably not going to end your game since they can only kill one person at a time and are otherwise unremarkable enemies, they're just very annoying. Also, the Outcasts are found in the main area of the Cave to the Sealed Gate, and as one of only two enemy types in this very long area, they're likely gonna be in every single fight you have for the dungeon. They're so infamous, many walkthroughs advise the player Steal a bunch of Gaia Gears from enemies near Thamasa and go through the dungeons with only party members that can equip them.note 
    • Balloons, the bomb enemies in the burning house in Thamasa. They're not very strong; a good Blizzara will weaken if not outright kill them, and Strago comes with a very spammable Water-elemental Lore that can do the same. But not only are they the only encounter in the dungeon, but the flames you see also spark encounters with them, and contrary to Strago's advice it's pretty much impossible to avoid them. The result is that for a good half hour or so, every enemy encounter you experience will be the same enemies that are easily killed in one round, yet they keep coming.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Chadarnook is not a particularly difficult boss, as it only uses low-level lightning attacks that can be absorbed or healed easily, and it is weak to the common Fire element and has fairly low HP. The annoyance is that it regularly changes between its Demon form and the Goddess in the picture it is possessing. The Goddess will use status attacks like Lullaby and Entice, and casts Poltergeist, inflicting a status ailment that regularly drains your HP and cannot be healed. The two switch based on both an unseen timer in their AI script and on how many times you attack them, and it's possible that the Demon will come out, then immediately switch back to the Goddess just as you order an attack. Oh, and you can't kill the Goddess, she just regenerates. The fight boils down to waiting for the Goddess to switch places with Demon, then calling up a volley of attacks and hoping it doesn't switch back before they go off.
    • Doomgaze/Deathgaze, for being a Cowardly Boss that you encounter at random on the airship in the World of Ruin. He's got an annoying tendency to run away after just a couple of turns, and it can take anywhere from a couple of seconds to twenty minutes or longer to encounter him again! And you do want to encounter him, since he drops the Bahamut magicite upon defeating him, which teaches the very-useful Flare spell. Of course, when you first get the airship, Deathgaze is about twice your level and will curbstomp you effortlessly if you encounter him.
    • Wrexsoul, if you feel that Banish is cheating. Wrexsoul will possess one of your party members (and you're down a person for only three people) and you have no way to tell who, forcing you to kill them off one by one until he reappears. Then you can take a swing at him for a few turns before he possesses someone else and it starts all over again. This is why the Banish loophole is so welcome, because it lets you skip all that nonsense and permanently kill his two (otherwise respawning) minions he leaves behind to end the battle that way. It's telling that this particular loophole was kept in later re-releases even with the Vanish/Banish combo fixed.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • In the SNES version, you can cast Vanish and then Doom or X-Zone on nearly any enemy for an instant win. This is because the programming that checks for instant death immunity was accidentally given a lower priority than checking if the target was invisible, meaning anything that had the Vanish status could be instantly killed. Remakes of the game fixed this mistake, although the Vanish-Doom combo still works on enemies who aren't immune to instant death.
    • Psycho Cyan. Basically, you use his second Bushido skill to have him counter the next attack, then you kill him off and revive him while the status is still active, making the counterattack able to trigger on any attack, including his own. Then you inflict him with Imp status, which makes him use a normal attack instead of the Bushido attack when he counters, preventing the counter status from wearing off after it's triggered. The result is that, once triggered initially, Cyan will attack an enemy and then counter his own attack with another attack on an enemy, over and over and over until all enemies are dead. The GBA version removed this bug, but fans still found another way to trigger it.
    • In the Cave to the Sealed Gate, there's a switch in a treasure chest that destroys a section of bridge up ahead, preventing them from reaching the end of the dungeon. This was likely intended to be a puzzle that forces the player to backtrack and figure out how to make the bridge reappear, except the developed overlooked that another switch that is obligatory to hit to reach the end will make the destroyed bridge reappear on its own. This results in the apparent puzzle being nullified and many players thinking the first switch did nothing.
    • The status ailment Blind does nothing because of a bug. Anything that was blinded would have an enemy they targeted get a massive Evasion boost when they attacked. The problem was that, because of an error in the game's code, Evasion doesn't do what it's supposed to do, instead relegating all evade checks to the MBlock stat. So the target's Evasion would go up, but because the stat did nothing, the Blind status wasn't detrimental in any way (except preventing Strago from learning Lores—he can only copy what he sees). This was fixed in the GBA version.
      • And speaking of the magic evasion bug on the SNES version, you can exploit equipment and relics to raise the MBlock stat so high that characters (especially Terra, Edgar, and Celes via the readily-available Enhancer sword) will dodge virtually any attack, aside from defense-ignoring spells and skills.
    • A thread on the Let's Play Archive shows off a bunch of these. The most impressive ones (from a reader's standpoint) involve playing the game for several hours without saving, then getting yourself killed at exactly the right time to respawn in the early points of the game with access to the airship. It's lead to players (somewhat jokingly) playing through the World of Balance backwards just to see how weird and funny things get when the events of the game happen out-of-order. It has also resulted in, at long last, General Leo being playable (with some obvious restrictions to using him).
    • The infamous Relm Sketch glitch for the 1.0 SNES version of the game, which is both this and a Game-Breaking Bug. Sketch is coded so badly that using it runs the risk of deleting your save games, freezing the game, or even bricking the game entirely. Pull it off right, and it'll glitch up your inventory, filling it with hundreds of thousands of new items, some of which are otherwise supposed to be one-of-a-kind. The Soul of Thamasa, the Lightbringer, the Celestriad, all in multiple copies, not to mention tens of thousands of Daggers and hundreds of other Vendor Trash items that you can sell for an obscene amount of gil. This trick was removed in later versions of the game, and it also fixed the issue that caused the Game-Breaking Bug.
    • There is a glitch that allows you to spam Joker Doom, Setzer's ultimate attack which is supposed to be accessible only under certain circumstances (use an Echo Screen, then immediately switch to Setzer to use the slots), in almost every boss fight (and it is effective in nearly all of them). It's dangerous to pull off without frame-precise timing (although Pause Scumming allows you to perform it even in real-time play), but naturally, tool-assisted speed runs abuse the hell out of it. Here are two examples. This was not fixed in both the PS port and the GBA rerelease.
    • Guest characters like Banon and General Leo lack a Chocobo riding sprite, as the developers presumed they aren't in the party at a time when you can do this. However, there's a Chocobo stable south of Figaro Castle which you can visit during the time Banon is in the party. It's a long walk, but doing it will treat you to the fun of Banon's glitched-out sprite riding a Chocobo.
    • The spell X-Zone/Banish kills all enemies and delays any scripts they would execute on death by a round. This makes the battle with Wrexsoul incredibly easy (though ending the fight this way denies your party loot and experience). Wrexsoul removes himself from battle and the party fights the Soul Savers, who automatically revive on death. However, if you kill them both at the same time with Banish, their revival is delayed a round, the game detects all enemies have been defeated, and you win the battle. This was kept in later re-releases.
    • The save point glitch, in instances where you have multiple parties and access to a save point. One party needs to step on a save point, and then you switch to a different party. As long as you don't move that first party off of the save point, the game thinks this second party is still on a save point, allowing them to use Sleeping Bags, Tents, and save. Provided that first party stays put on the save, the second party becomes able to functionally rest and save anywhere in the dungeon.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • During development the developers were originally going to have Terra vanish at the end of the game along with the Espers, but thought that it would be going too far to kill her off. Four games later they pulled exactly the same thing with Tidus, and several games since then have ended with one of the main hero(es) dying in some manner. Even more eerie is that Terra was supposed to be male back when she was slated to die; the concept art of Male Terra even looks like Tidus.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Terra's field sprite bears a physical resemblance to Bulma. Keep this in mind when playing Dissidia Final Fantasy where Kefka is voiced by Shigeru Chiba, who previously voiced Emperor Pilaf from Dragon Ball, and his somewhat Yandere-esque traits towards Terra throughout the story, when Pilaf attempted to blow a kiss towards Bulma.
    • Kefka was frequently compared to The Joker long before the character himself became a very Kefka-like sociopathic nihilist in The Dark Knight.
    • Let's recount the Pop Culture Urban Legends about the Eight Dragons, shall we? By Petrifying the Blue Dragon you can get the Raiden magicite without losing Odin, allowing you to get all the Magicite pieces at once. Then once you killed all Eight Dragons and got Crusader, you would be forced into a rematch with stronger forms of the Eight Dragons, ending with a fight against their boss, CzarDragon. Well, take a look at the Gameboy Advance port — the bonus dungeon Dragon's Den pits you against powered-up forms of the Eight Dragons to unlock the path to the depths of the dungeon where you fight the superboss Kaiser Dragon, he guards the ultimate Magicite Diabolos, and the Soul Shrine bonus dungeons ends with a fight against all Eight Dragons followed by Kaiser Dragon. And let us not forgot that Kaiser Dragon's sprite and pre-battle taunt are all obviously updated versions of CzarDragon's sprite and taunt found by hacking the SNES coding. It's like Ascended Meme and Dummied Out came together to have a beautiful ironic baby that made the fandom's rumors about cut content come to life.
    • A dummied piece of NPC dialogue refers to Setzer as a pirate while noting he owns the only airship in the world. It would be more than a decade until actual Sky Pirates appeared in the series.
    • The SNES version of the game had a relic called "Goggles" which were supposed to render the wearer immune to blindness. However, the truth is the Blindness status effect was bugged and had no effect on gameplay (other than the exception with Strago), making the goggles in turn have no effect either. The Goggles were doing nothing long before this trope was ever named! Or even before The Simpsons named it in the first place.
      • There actually is a hilarious glitch involving the goggles which was heavily abused in a recent speedrun. However, it involves using them as an item in combination with the Sketch glitch, meaning that their original purpose is still useless.
    • Cyan is a samurai and his son who died in Doma is named Owain. Said son also vows to Cyan that he'll practice swordplay to protect his mother when he boards the phantom train to the afterlife. Fire Emblem Awakening introduces a character named Owain, he's a myrmidon, and is also quite attached to his mother.
    • There's a commercial that depicts Mog with a deep, manly voice at a desk, shooting up various monsters with lightning bolt. This would be decades before a certain other cute mascot with a masculine voice would take the world by storm.
    • After Celes attacks him on the Floating Continent, Kefka's initial response in the SNES translation is "Grrr...Aargh...".
  • Hype Backlash: It's often called the very best of the series, with only the similarly-hyped Final Fantasy VII coming close to it in popularity. As a result, newcomers can wind up feeling underwhelmed by the once-innovative gameplay or story.



  • Iron Woobie: The main cast: about 10 depressed/near suicidal badass magic knights with heart-wrenchingly sad backstories.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • It can be easy to forget these days that it was a twist that Kefka was the Big Bad. While Emperor Gestahl fit the mold of previous villains which tended to be Tin Tyrant Evil Overlord types, Kefka had more in common with Gilgamesh or Borghen, just one of the Emperor's more eccentric and wacky flunkies who keeps popping up. Then comes the Floating Continent, where Kefka proves too insane to control, overthrows Gestahl, and takes power for himself. These days, the one thing most everyone is likely to learn about this game at a glance is that Kefka is the villain.
    • Thanks to Dissidia, everyone knows now that Terra is half-Esper. Again, probably one of the first things you're going to learn about her. It was supposed to be the Driving Question for the first third of the game or so.
    • For that matter, the entire existence of the World of Ruin, though this one was also spoiled by the game packaging. The Floating Continent has all the hallmarks of a Disc-One Final Dungeon, so you know this can't be the final battle when you prepare to confront Gestahl, but you're probably not expecting Kefka to unleash an Apocalypse How that reshapes the continents. But one of Kefka's major claims to fame is that he "won", at least for a little while, so his destruction of the World of Balance is fairly common knowledge. Even then, it's impossible to look at walkthroughs and game guides without accidentally catching a sight of the second world map and/or its title.
  • LGBT Fanbase: If you find gay VI fanart, there's an extremely good chance it's going to feature Sabin.
  • Love to Hate: Kefka, who else?
  • Memetic Badass: Sabin can suplex a train and himself.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Celes's "I'm a general, not some opera floozy!".
    • Celes has two outfits - her yellow and purple uniform from concept art and FMVs, and her Stripperific Leotard of Power and Badass Cape. Fans mostly prefer the leotard.
    • Sabin's ability to Suplex/Meteor Strike the Phantom Train (read: lifting the entire train into the air and slamming it back down) has inspired scores of jokes and fanart of the incident.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Kefka poisoning an entire city, all the while taking sadistic delight in it.
  • Narm:
    • Some of Kefka's lines can wade into this.
      Kefka: HATE HATE HATE
      Kefka: Son of a submariner!
    • Everything about Rachel, for fans who find Locke's attitude towards her creepy.
    • Some of the attack names are this in the SNES version thanks to Character Name Limits, the ones that stand out being Meltdown becoming Merton and 1000 Needles becoming Blow Fish.
    • The siege of Doma. Knowing the Empire has a full camp set up and is attacking a fortified castle of battle-ready soldiers, you're probably gearing up for a Big Badass Battle Sequence. What follows is the Imperial troopers ineffectually throwing themselves at the castle walls (a couple of them run back and forth aimlessly), the Doma soldiers doing absolutely nothing to fight back and lamenting they can't hold them off, and then Cyan casually walks outside, kills the attack commander (probably in one hit), and the Imperials turn and flee. What could have been an epic battle instead makes both sides look like ineffectual fools who don't even know how to fight. The escape from the Imperial camp a few minutes later, where you fight your way through several scripted encounters of soldiers, is far more impressive by comparison.note 
    • When Edgar, Locke and Terra first visit Duncan's wilderness cabin, Edgar finds evidence that Sabin has been staying there. Namely his favorite flowers, tea, and dishes.
    • Sabin's ultimate attack in the SNES/PS1 versions was translated as Bum Rush, which is quite amusing for the wrong reasons. Later translations fortunately gave it a better name in Phantom Rush.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Kefka's cheesy dialogue had a lot to do with what made him such a charming and memorable villain.
    • Sabin's Meteor Strike originally being translated as Suplex. Sure, it doesn't make any sense why a suplex suddenly throws the opponent in the air, but it adds to the original English translation's charm.
  • Older Than They Think: VI also introduced the Limit Break mechanic, three years before VII explicitly named it that. In this game they are the Trope Namer for Desperation Attack; every character has one, but they happen so rarely and at such low HP that most players can play through the entire game without ever seeing one. You may as well consider it an Anti-Frustration Feature if a battle goes south.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Vargas, Sabin's Evil Counterpart who forces him to engage in a Duel Boss battle and was the Arc Villain of the early game plotline around Duncan. He's fought, defeated, and is never seen again.
  • Player Punch: Maybe more than any other game in the series. It certainly has more listed on the page for the trope than any other individual game in the series (FFVII and its sequels/prequels are grouped together). Leo's death and the faux endings in Thamasa and the Floating Continent may be the worst of them.
  • Porting Disaster: While the Gameboy Advance port turned out alright, ports on non-Nintendo hardware always suffer somehow.
    • The PS1 version was ridden with slowdown, long loading times, and infrequent softlocks if the game was left on too long. It was somewhat fixed in the PAL version, but it still takes some time to load. The ending is a huge case of Soundtrack Dissonance, as the medley of everyone's themes was orchestrated to match the timing of the transitions between their ending scenes — in the PSX versions, this is all de-synced and the music ends up lagging so far behind by the final ending shot, that it's still on Strago's theme when the music suddenly cuts out to go to the next scene on the Falcon.
    • The mobile/PC port has been denounced by many fans for terribly designed graphics. The graphics seem like someone just upscaled the original SNES graphics without concern for how the final product looked, resulting in many scenery objects that have visible seams between tiles, characters sprites that have highly stylized and cartoonish designs, and a lack of artistic consistency between scenery, character sprites, and enemy sprites. For some reason the PC port also runs the entire game through a blur filter, resulting in things simultaneously looking highly pixilated and blurry. The graphics are so hated that the fanbase pretty much immediately got to work with mods to redo the graphics in various ways. The user interface is also hated for being very clunky, even in the Steam version.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In a bizarre version, the Woolseyism actually rescued Kefka, who was The Scrappy in Japan, from the international heap.
  • The Scrappy: The spoiled rich kid at the action house in Jidoor is hated by everybody for making you waste time with him making his father buy him useless items like a scale model ship or a robot imp. Sometimes up to ten times in a row. Especially aggravating if you're playing the Advance version and just want to get the goddamn Excalipoor.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Here.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny:
    • Some reactions to playing this game nowadays are: Sadistic villain that wants to destroy the world and transforms into an angel? Characters with developed personalities and their own personal problems? Vast amount of side-quests with plenty of Tear Jerker worthy moments? The two most important protagonists are female? Dealing with real-life issues like suicide? Big deal; it's been done in video games before. But in 1994, all of this (especially the prominence of Terra and Celes) was a revelation.
    • At the time of its release, almost all RPGs had fairly generic protagonists, and those where the character was slightly more interesting had almost no dialogue in play after you recruited them. This was the first game where character development was one of the primary focuses of the game, and having non-combat skill sequences like the Opera were unprecedented at the time. There was nothing like this game when it came out, and while a few developers in Japan did try to match it (with titles like Star Ocean), Anglophone gamers wouldn't see much like it again until the Baldur's Gate series of games for the PC.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Natural Magic Game. The basic rule is that only Terra and Celes can use Esper magic, since they learn it naturally. Gau can still pick up elemental magic from Rages, such as Aqua Rake, and Sabin can Fire Dance the night away. A NMG is the perfect way to get more familiar with each character and their skills. For instance, Strago and Relm are off to a somewhat false start in a normal game, since their magic is under-developed.
  • Signature Scene: It's difficult to think of this game and not think of the opera.
  • Special Effect Failure: The cart escape from the Magitek Research Facility is presented in very poor Mode 7, with the track and passing ironwork looking like jumbled masses of brown pixels scaling towards the screen. It wouldn't get cleaned up into something presentable until the mobile/Steam release.
  • Squick: On the Floating Continent, Gestahl offers a chance for Celes to rejoin him; whereupon she'll get busy with Kefka and produce some heirs for him.note .
    Gestahl: Why don't I give you and Kefka the task of creating progeny to populate my new Magitek empire?
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The intro theme sounds Suspiciously Similar to the first few notes of Also sprach Zarathustra. The same theme plays as Kefka appears for the final boss battle.


  • That One Boss:
    • Rizopas, the boss of Baren Falls. Every other turn it has a 33% chance to use El Niño, an extremely powerful attack that can deal over 200 damage to the party. To make matters worse, on his other turns he takes two actions, the first one has a 33% chance to be Mega Volt and the second has a 66% chance to be Blizzard; Mega Volt isn't too bad, but if Blizzard is single-target it can deal up to 300 damage. And all this at a time when unless you've gone out of the way to level grind them, Sabin and Cyan have just over 300 HP. The Rizopas has a fairly piddling 775 HP, so Sabin and Cyan can kill it in two or three turns, but unfortunately the Rizopas is capable of doing the exact same thing back to them, making the fight a Luck-Based Mission.
    • Number 128 at the end of the Magitek Research Facility. He immediately follows five waves of forced encounters between which you cannot heal, you have to fight him with 3 characters because you just lost your 4th (your only healer, no less), not to mention that one of those characters is Locke (whose offense sucks at this point). And while the preceding events gave you a lot of new magicite, you don't have time to learn their spells because you're locked in an area with no enemy encounters, and the encounters before the fight don't give enough magic points to learn anything. On top of all of that, he's a difficult boss in his own right, with three targets that attack independently while also carrying an extremely rare, and powerful, item (the Kazekiri/Tempest) that may take many tries to successfully steal, prolonging the battle.
    • Atma/Ultima Weapon on the Floating Continent can be very challenging for first-time players. The boss uses powerful magic, like Flare Star and Quake, that can deal significant damage to the entire party; it likes to follow this up by finishing off a weakened target with Flare for 700 (when generally most people won't break over 1300 by this time.) There's a trick that makes the fight significantly easier (casting Rasp on it to deplete its MP also kills it, and it won't use its stronger attacks since its HP remains full), but most players won't know that unless they look up strategies for fighting it.
    • The Tentacles in Figaro Castle. They'll use Entwine and Stun to inflict Slow on your characters, then use Seize on them. A character hit by Seize is removed from the battle and subject to a gradual Life Drain that heals the Tentacle that Seized it. Eventually the Tentacles let them go, but there's four tentacles so you can count on being Seized again very quickly. And if that's not bad enough, they'll use Poison and Bio, which continue to sap your health while Seize does the same. Finally, you only have a party of three people at best, and there's four Tentacles, all of which can use Stun and Seize; do the math. Unless you have Running Shoes equipped on Celes and Sabin (Running Shoes gives Auto-Haste making you immune to Slow, and they can only use Seize on a Slowed character), prepare for a very difficult fight.
    • The Storm Dragon in Mt. Zozo. He has tons of HP, a brutal physical, and spells that both hit the entire party and are of the hard-to-defend-against Wind element. Oh, and the game nudges you to go to Mt. Zozo immediately after getting the airship, and if you listen your party will be seriously underequipped and underlevelled for a fight like the Storm Dragon. One of his abilities that he uses is non-elemental, and hits your entire party, meaning that even if you get a Thunder Shield, you'll be hurting quite a bit.
    • Wrexsoul, for being a Guide Dang It! Puzzle Boss. During most of the fight, Wrexsoul will "possess" one of your party members. To make him reveal himself so you can damage him, you have to kill your own party members until you happen to kill the one he's hiding in. You can win the fight by casting Banish, but then you don't get the item drop (a Guard/Pod Bracelet).
    • MagiMaster/Magic Master. It comes at the top of a difficult dungeon in which characters can't use physical attacks, blasts you with powerful magic, changes its elemental weaknesses and resistances, and has 50,000 HP and MP. There are many tricks that you can use make the main part of the battle easy (for example, it's vulnerable to the Berserk status ailment), but the big problem is its Last Ditch Move: when its HP reaches zero, it will try to cast Ultima, which will usually do more than enough damage to one-shot your entire party. Hope you either have Reraise or a lot of time on your hands with which to reduce its MP to zero.
  • That One Level:
    • The fight in Narshe to defend the Esper against Kefka and his minions. It's the second combat in the game to use three separate parties, and is much like the first where you manipulate your three teams to protect choke points against incoming enemy groups. Unlike the first fight, however, you only have seven characters to divide among the three groups, leaving each group feeling awfully lean. There are also more waves of foes. To cap things off, once you complete a fight the game transitions control back to your characters at a glacially slow pace while the enemy troops march towards you at normal speed. You thus often have situations where you should have time to heal up between fights but can't because the next set of enemies has approached you by the time the game allows you to actually control your characters again. To offset this, however, defeated PC groups will simply appear back at the save point. This may still end up hard to win because that character will no longer be protecting one of the passageways to Banon and the Esper, which is an instant game over if an enemy reaches him.
    • Zozo, thanks to its existence of Hill Gigas and Veil Dancers, both of whom can use powerful spells doing 200 damage to all your party members. It's also a very long dungeon with no save point before the boss. The game thankfully saves you having to go through it multiple times; the trip down and trip back up the tower are skipped in cutscenes.
    • The beloved opera scene can be incredibly frustrating on the iOS version because of the vagaries of touch-screen controls, especially after Draco drops the flowers. If you make any kind of mis-step or hesitate for even half a second then you fail the level and have to start all over again from entering the opera house.
    • The Floating Continent, due to its confusing layout, shortage of proper save points, powerful Mooks, and the fact if you decide to drop back onto your airship half-way through the area to restock your resources or change party members, you have to start ALL THE WAY FROM THE BEGINNING when you go back up to the Floating Continent. Not to mention that most of the enemies in the random encounters are too powerful to risk level-grinding for XP and Gil, and some, like the Ninja, can't even be escaped at all.
    • The South Figaro cave in the World of Ruin. It has exactly five enemies that attack in various formations, and all of them can inflict Confuse in some manner; you only have a party of two people at the time, and neither South Figaro nor Nikeah sell any Relics that can negate Confuse. Unless you're lucky enough to have such a Relic leftover from the World of Balance, you're screwed. Additionally, the dungeon is a fair length, and at the end of it you fight the Tentacles, That One Boss, without a chance to save or heal beforehand. That's right, there is no save point; if you die, start all over.
    • The Phoenix Cave, which forces you to split your party into two groups just to be able to get Locke back. There are spiked tiles that can damage you for 400 HP every time you step on one. If all the members of one party are dead, then the other party is considered dead, leading to a possible game over. Finally, especially for those playing a low level run or a "perfect stats" run, there exists Face/Phase, a Demonic Spider type enemy who you cannot run away from and randomly counters all attacks with the Cactuar's 1000 Needles attack. Worse, you can't warp out.
    • Cyan's soul. One of the longest dungeons in the game with fairly tough enemies, two boss fights including an annoying Puzzle Boss that is quite difficult to beat if you don't know the tricks to make it easier, you can only have a party of three people, and you can't leave the dungeon until you beat the boss at the end. It's possible a run through the game can be stopped cold here if the player finds themselves unable to beat Wrexsoul and has limited items and healing available, as there's no way to leave the dungeon to heal and resupply.
    • Ebot's Rock, where you find Hidon (the source of what is considered Strago's best Lore, Grand Delta. There is a treasure chest that wants Coral, so you have to find it in the cave and feed it to the treasure chest. The game doesn't tell you how many pieces it needs, so you are constantly running around collecting Coral to feed it. However, it's another Guide Dang It! — you have to feed the chest 22 pieces of Coral all at once; feed it a few pieces at a time and you're just wasting your time.
    • The Cultist's Tower is perhaps the epitome of frustrating game design. There are no save points, so failing to complete the whole thing in one go will set you back by at least 30 minutes to an hour. Most of the enemies have the Reflect status enabled, rendering the majority of your magic attacks less than useless. That perhaps wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the fact that you are restricted to using magic attacks (and items) because the tower completely disables your physical attacks and special abilities. Really, the only option here is to cast berserk on party members with really strong physical attacks and/or bring Umaro since he is already in a permanent-berserk state, equip some really powerful Espers, and spam a select handful of spellsnote  and items that can overrule the enemies' Reflect status. Even if you do make it to the top of the Tower, the final boss will cast Ultima upon defeat, annihilating you if you forget to cast Reraise on at least one of your party members - preferably all of them just for good measure. And after all of that, you have to climb all the way back down the tower fighting the same enemies you came across on your way up, where you are still at risk of being annihilated by Level 60 Magic and Level 90 Magic enemies which can spam several deadly attacks in a single turn, faster than you will presumably be able to heal your party in time let alone win the battles (hopefully you remember to cast Reraise on your party). And no, you cannot run from or by any means escape from most of these fights. Thankfully, the entire dungeon is optional and not necessary to complete the story, but the relic that you get for doing so is incredibly useful. That is to say nothing of obtaining Edgar's final tool, or the Holy Dragon which the player must defeat in order to obtain the Esper, Crusader. You can choose to avoid all this by grabbing Molulu's Charm first (which prevents random encounters), but then you're just running up endless flights of stairs without Barret, Tifa, and Cloud bantering to take off the tedium.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: There's backlash over the differences between the more accurate GBA translation and the more nostalgic Woolsey script.
    • This also seems to be the fanbase's general reaction to the iOS/Android port, the main issue being the graphics changes (and particularly the character sprites, which look like someone just upscaled them in Photoshop, used the smudge tool on them, and called it a day - strange since they were apparently done by the same artist as the originals).
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Due in large part to the game's original platform mandating some brevity, there are some plot points which are not nearly as well-explored as they could be:
    • While most fans will point to her as the main protagonist, Terra's past aside from her origins is left almost entirely unexplored. We never find out the full extent of her servitude to the Empire - we know she wasn't consciously serving them, but what exactly was she used for? And as an even bigger question, what was her life like in between being kidnapped by Gestahl as an infant and being mind-controlled by Kefka as a young woman? It seems almost axiomatic that she was raised in Vector because Gestahl took her, but beyond that...
    • There is also very little backstory on how Celes rose to the rank of general, and even exactly what she did to get herself imprisoned or her motives for whatever she did. We know she was a bit fond of Cid even before the start of the World of Ruin, and she seems to find Kefka's methods distasteful from the start, but anything beyond that is left out.
    • On top of this, the script and gameplay build Terra and Celes as Foils; they're both former imperials and innate magic users, the only female party members for a good part of the game, Terra is initially meek and hesitant while Celes is proud and forthright, and Terra has fire magic and offensive abilities while Celes has ice magic and defensive abilities. So you think these two would play off of each other great, right? Nope — they're only around each other three times. The first two they barely say anything to each other, and their third conversation is the ending. The only other times they interact is while recruiting Terra in the World of Ruin, where Celes's dialogue is the same canned dialogue as any other character you're using if she's not in the party at the time.
    • A lot of potential character interactions that could come up in the World of Ruin don't. The developers couldn't reasonably code events to account for every possible character combination you have in the party at the time and give them unique dialogue, so most scenarios in the World of Ruin have generic canned dialogue no matter who is present, and maybe there's one or two unique lines for a character (possibly because you're required to have them at the time). Because of this, cast interactions are minimal and there's not any story enrichment from bringing certain characters to certain events; the Figaro brothers have a single line for their reunion, Celes has a single line when she sees Locke again, Sabin and Shadow have nothing to say to Cyan in either of his sidequests, and so forth.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: Players have widely varying opinions on which characters are the best, but several are considered to be low-tier by a significant amount of the fandom.
    • Gau has two problems going for him. It takes a lot of work to build him up into a powerful player as compared to others because of the time-consuming nature of fighting on the Veldt to learn his Rages. Secondly, with over 200 Rages it can be frustrating to figure out which Rages do what without an FAQ or game guide. When he uses a Rage, it turns him into a Berserker who'll only use a physical attack and a specific ability dictated by the rage. Gau can be a powerful character for players who know which rages do what through most of the game, but he gets overshadowed in the endgame by characters who are just as powerful but not as unpredictable. Many players don't bother building him up and only use him on those very few occasions when the game forces him into the party.
    • Cyan is slow as molasses, has the worst magic stat in the game, and his Bushido techniques require you to sit and wait several seconds while you charge up the meter, during which time the fight is still ongoing and the rest of your party can't enter commands (this is changed in the iOS/Android version). While some Bushido moves deal decent to strong damage, most are various status effects and a low-power Life Drain, which are only moderately useful in general and worthless against bosses. There are a few specific strategies that make him useful though, such as teaming him with Gau, Umaro, or any berserked character so that someone's attacking while Bushido charges, or simply learning Quick to get around Bushido's charge time. On lower levels spamming Fang is fairly effective too. The problems with Bushido are apparently somewhat fixed in the iOS port, as it apparently allows you to input commands for other characters while waiting for Bushido to charge.
    • Gogo can't equip Espers. This means he can't get the stat bonuses on level up granted by Espers. His stat growth will fall further and further behind the rest of the party as their levels increase. Although this doesn't bother casual players, many of whom enjoy Gogo for his versatility, players interested in optimizing stats tend to hate him.
    • Perhaps the ultimate Tier-Induced Scrappy from Final Fantasy VI is Umaro, because his only strategy is Attack! Attack! Attack!! As he's in a permanent Berserk status, Umaro randomly selects one of three standard attacks with varying damage output, or uses an ice attack that hits all enemies. He can't learn magic, can't change his equipment except for Relics, and his two better attacks are each unlocked only if he equips a specific relic in one of his two Relic slots, so once you have those he can't change his equipment at all without weakening him. However, even Umaro has his uses - he can still be useful in the Cultists' Tower as the only character who can attack, and some players like to use him in the Phoenix Cave. Many players also like using Umaro in the Colosseum since the A.I. Roulette that can be negative against all the other characters doesn't really apply to him since all he does is attack.
  • Toy Ship: Relm and Gau.
  • True Art Is Angsty: Previous installments were not without their tragic and dark moments, especially II and IV. However, this was the game that really piled on the angst, drama, and Character Development, with the central theme being a very real conflict of death and despair versus life and hope, not to mention Terra's very metaphysical "oh goodness, what am I?" character arc. For it, VI became one of the most critically acclaimed games of its time, a staple title for old-school Super NES gamers, and is regularly pointed to as one of the best Final Fantasy titles.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The game introduces the Limit Break system to the series, known here as a "Desperation Attack". Unfortunately they only trigger when a character uses the Attack command at low health 1/16th of the time, and never in the first twenty-five seconds of combat. Because of these restrictions one can go through multiple playthroughs and never once trigger a Desperation Attack.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: The folds of Kefka's robe in his god form in the final battle...well, some have taken it as evidence he really, really enjoys destruction. The fans have generally embraced the idea, since fighting his sworn enemies while sporting a huge boner seems like a very Kefka thing to do.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: This is exclusive to the PlayStation version of Final Fantasy VI, which only checks if Celes and Locke are the first two members in the party. Right before you go to the Opera in the World of Balance, you need Celes and Locke in the party. Only put those two in the party. Move them to the third and fourth party members, then make a team without them. Congratulations, you can't complete the game because there's no sprites for them in Narshe. Later versions prevent this from happening.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Kefka's official art, and to a lesser degree his sprite, sport a feminine face and feminine accoutrements (makeup, earrings, beads in his hair). It's not clear that Kefka is male until his bodyguards refer to him as "Sir". He looks a little more masculine in some later versions, though.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: One of the game's high points is that the sprite work has held up very well even over twenty years since it came out. The enemy sprites are all finely detailed and some of them are massive and take up most of the screen, and they manage it on a palette of just 16 colors.note  Meanwhile the playable cast is very animated and can convey a lot of emotion and physicality with just 40 frames of animation, which include wagging their finger, scowling angrily, winking, laughing, gasping in surprise, and more. The sprites were so well animated that some find them more emotive than the Playstation-era 3D models. Several 2010s sprite-based spinoffs, particularly Final Fantasy Record Keeper, would copy this game's sprite styles.
  • Woolseyism: Like IV, the original SNES release suffered from the typical Nintendo censorship, but the English translation by Ted Woolsey was regarded as one of the best translations of the 16-bit era, even though it wasn't the most faithful (Woolsey is the Trope Namer for Woolseyism, after all). He changed a lot of things in the Super NES release, some for cultural reasons, some for censorship (e.g. Kefka's "Son of a submariner!" was originally a simple "Damn it!"), and others just for dramatic flair. For the most part, they work, and provide charm that a faithful translation probably wouldn't have. (In particular, the Woolseyisms are commonly credited for Kefka being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap outside of Japan.) It's telling that Tom Slattery's Gameboy Advance translation kept many of Ted's changes.


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