(Pre-script: Sorry for the delay! I had gotten myself to a point in the game where I was so far ahead that I just had a backlog of stuff to write, which has left me a little demotivated. I’ve written a few bits that I’ll post up and then maybe do a summary for the rest so I can just get on with it – we’ll have an experiment and see what happens. Also life, busyness ect.)
This is a part of the Final Fantasy VI Red Mage Challenge run. If you want information on the rules please see here (link to rules page). This post will include spoilers for a, now reasonably old game. If you haven’t done so already, please play the game – it is great.
Guess what? I did a bit more grinding with Terra. This was mostly because the enemies around South Figaro did seem a good bit stronger than those before and so I was still quite worried about the mountain (spoiler alert: I really didn’t need to be). So I levelled Terra up to level 15 and at that point she is pretty strong.
We head to Mt Kolts and start the trek up the mountain. The enemies are no problem, at this point fire is doing what its name entails and burning up everything infront of it. While heading up the mountain we are stalked by a mysterious silhouette (this is an area that the GBA translation helps with later on). We carry on going without too much worry until we come across a new person standing infront of a cave.
They don’t look like Sabin (if we are going by the flashback in Figaro Castle). So could they be Duncan? We go up and talk to them and it turns out to be Vargas, Duncan’s son. Vargas asks if Sabin sent us, which leads to Edgar asking about his brother. Vargas is being Mr Surly during the conversation and ultimately starts a fight with us (this conversation has the good change in translation. Locke asks if Vargas was stalking us while we were on the mountain and Vargas used to essentially say ‘yes’ whereas here he says ‘what if I was?’. Given that we know it was Sabin’s silhouette, the first answer doesn’t make sense – so that’s nice).
Vargas starts to beat us up and it really doesn’t matter. He is accompanied by his pet bear, which is sweet but doesn’t like fire. After a while Vargas gets sick of us and uses an ability to send a blizzard at us which makes us unable to act (he cheats with magical martial arts powers … but I guess we’ve been using magic against him so it’s not really cheating). At this point Sabin jumps in and reveals that Vargas killed his father because Vargas was jealous of his father thinking that Sabin was better. However, from what we heard in the village and what Sabin infers, Vargas may have been reading into his father’s words too much.
Sabin uses a blitz and is able to disintegrate Vargas in an instant (this section was infuriating as a kid, as I think I needed to use the instruction guide to find out what button presses use Sabin’s command, but I didn’t and so died at this point the first time I played). Following this Sabin and Edgar are reunited and Terra reveals that she though Sabin was one of Vargas’ bears …
Sabin is delighted by this. Sabin can be my bear any day.
Sabin notes that he was “I’ve been watching from a distance, hoping the world would come to its senses.” Edgar was ruling Figaro, but Sabin was still concerned with the country. He went on his adventures elsewhere and was free to do what he wanted, but he still stayed in Figaro and kept an eye on the Kingdom. Sabin isn’t the king, but still cares dearly about the country and his brother.
With our new companion, we then leave Mt Kolts and head to the base of the Returners. On coming in we meet with Banon, who is a pretty good leader for the group. He has perspective and is thinking of the big picture, he knows that the war of the magi has happened and does not want it to happen again. He initially sounds like he would be quite anti-Terra and what she stands for, but then states to her that “her power is a gift, not a curse.” To him, she is hope and not because she is going to rain down magic and destroy everyone. Baron wants her to talk to the esper at Narshe, given the connection that she had with it previously. The espers may be able to help and avoid a war happening in the first place. It’s a different idea to what Edgar is thinking. Unfortunately, the espers getting involved would probably not stop the war in the way that Banon wants, but it’s a good idea at the time.
The game then gives Terra some time to consider what she is going to do next. You can talk to each party member who provides an extra perspective to try and convince her about what she is going to do. Terra talks to Locke about how she has no one who is important to her that the empire hurt and Terra shows that she doesn’t think about vengeance (even though she is someone the empire hurt a lot). Terra talks to Sabin who says that he trusts his brother and generally pains Edgar in a good light. Edgar then shows that he is the person that Sabin thinks he is by not forcing Terra to make a decision. Edgar says that all he wants is for Terra to make a choice without being forced. This is a really positive thing given that Terra recently had all of her decision making ability stripped away from her, and Edgar is helping to give her the power to make her own choices again. This was a really nice moment.
You can also talk to the members of the Returners. One person reveals that the Returners are growing by the day and will soon be a force to stand against the empire. Another person states that they are on the edge of destruction and the empire could crush them at any moment. It’s a helpful dichotomy to see. The Returners definitely feel vulnerable against the advanced technology of the empire.
Also, the music is great. Terra’s theme is a beautiful bit of accompaniment managing to be sorrowful but also aspirational.
You can then go to talk to Banon who gives you the choice of whether you help or not. If you say no then you are just sent back inside and given the chance to go back and say yes again, so it’s not really much of a choice but it’s nice for the role playing element. Following this we then sit down at the war room and make a strategy before the empire start to approach the camp and we find out that South Figaro has been occupied (after all the bragging by guy earlier saying that it would never be occupied).
Locke has to go try to slow the empire down in their occupation of the city. He seems conflicted at leaving Terra, obviously being pretty protective of her. But he still goes after warning her of Edgar’s pervy ways (which Sabin doesn’t deny). The rest of the group then prepare to run away from the empire by taking a raft. What could possibly go wrong?