13. Breaking Celes Out

A trend I’ve noticed with my entries so far is that I can’t help but compare Final Fantasy VI to previous games in the genre. But today, it’s in a good way. Dragon Warrior was the first I played, and you went the quest alone. You never faced more than one enemy per battle, and that eventually got stale. But Dragon Warrior II improved upon this, only having you start the game alone, forcing you to find allies. Sometimes you did run into multiple enemies, and the increase in strategy was welcome. Dragon Warrior IV played around with this as well, sometimes having you fight alone, sometimes with groups of 2, 3, or 4.

Final Fantasy VI plays around with this constantly, which is one of the reason the game doesn’t get stale for a long time. You begin the game with just a couple of people in your party, and it steadily grows. But there are several times where your group is forced to split up. The first time is after you go to the Returner’s Hideout. When I learned I’d be going to South Figaro alone with Locke, I was excited.

While there’s no battles you have to fight while alone, you certainly can. And you will almost certainly lose. The best strategy is to pull an Indiana Jones and find an enemy to help you blend in.

I love how the game utilizes original storytelling devices early on like stealing someone’s clothes. I’ve always appreciated stealth in games, as I find it more realistic and more satisfying to win with brain rather than brawn. And that’s why I think Locke is one of my favorite characters.

What are you doing up there? Bird watching?

 

While Celes is a fairly banal character, at least her presence foreshadows the Locke/Rachel story line we referred to earlier in the countdown. Once you escape with her, the rest of the scenario is fairly standard. The Runic ability she uses to help save you is kind of cool until you realize there are close to zero times you need to use that ability the rest of the game in order to win.

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