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. Sorry for the delays – I’m having a bit of a low period at the moment, but we keep on trying and eventually something will happen.
We start on Sabin’s path. Sabin is caught in the water and is dragged downstream. Fortunately, Ultros doesn’t follow him and so there’s no additional fight. Instead, Sabin ends up stranded down a different route. He is far away from Narshe, but is still motivated to catch back up with his brother and help the Returners to help the world.
For all of this section (until right at the end), the party does not have a character that qualifies as a Red Mage in it. Therefore, there are some fights where I need to fight with non-Red Mage characters. However, what I tried to do in this section is to avoid as many battles as possible by running away from non-mandatory battles (ultimately I think I did eleven battles, one of which was optional but I wanted to do it as it was the Siegfried fight).
Sabin finds himself outside of a random house in the middle of the plane, which is honestly a bit odd. The man inside seems confused about what is happening. He thinks that Sabin is a range of different roles (from being someone who mows lawns to being a repairman). He then accuses Sabin of being like a kid and then that it makes him feel sick thinking about kids. He states he doesn’t have any kids but then shouts that Sabin will have to leave or he’ll toss him onto the Veldt too.
Later in this section we will meet the Veldt, a plain where monsters from all of the world roam. We will also meet a young man who has been a wild child living on the Veldt for a while. The future plot of this character links into this house.
We leave the house and have a chat to Shadow, who is outside. While we are avoiding battles, I chose to bring Shadow along as I like Interceptor and Shadow is just great (you know, apart from all the killing). We venture out and run away from battles until we reach an Imperial camp that has been set up near Doma Castle.
At this point we get a perspective of the views of the imperial soldier. The soldiers are worried as they think that Kefka is trying to drive away General Leo because he wants his position (which is a bit strange, as Kefka is also a general…). Overall, it becomes clear that the soldiers don’t like Kefka. This is a bit different compared to the soldiers that Edgar talked to in Figaro Castle, who seemed pretty evil all things said, but I guess those soldiers were right next to Kefka so they could be putting up a front.
The soldiers are then ordered to go and fight at Doma Castle, a large castle (more reminiscent of the castles from FFIV and V unlike Figaro Castle). The empire are trying to take over as a part of their world domination, nothing particularly out of the ordinary. The Domans are pretty worried about this, but then we are introduced to the stoic and wonderful Mr Thou himself, Cyan.
Cyan is someone who effectively has the samurai class in this game. They are an older character who has served at least two kings of Doma and is well seasoned on the battlefield. He has a family living in the castle, his wife Elayne and his son Owain (I can’t get over their names rhyming XD).
Cyan agrees to go into the battlefield and meet the commander of the enemy’s forces and defeat him to cause the enemy forces to retreat. We participate in the battle and Cyan easily wins the fight, which does lead to the other soldiers retreating (yay!). The Domans calm down a little and are instructed by Cyan to prepare for the next attack. In this way, Cyan is shown to be capable. One of the things I am looking forward to in this playthrough is to try and get a better look at Cyan’s character, as I feel that out of a strong cast, he is one of the weaker characterised people. I’ll be looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.
At this point we meet General Leo. General Leo is dashing and brave and is the prime example of a good person on the side of the enemy. As Sabin says in the original version “he would be my friend if he weren’t my enemy”. I probably had a crush on General Leo when I first played through the game. He is a kind general who gets the job done effectively. He cares about his soldiers, making sure that they don’t sacrifice themselves for no reason, and he cares about his country. He is dutiful (and also pretty strong – his burst ability is really cool, but that’s something for another part of the game).
The developers are really smart at this point, as they show us Leo’s character points here but then make them even more prominent by showing us Kefka’s actions. What Kefka does is probably one of the worst things in the game (with the exception of the whole breaking the world thing). Kefka goes along and adds poison into the water supply of Doma Castle. Doma only gets water from one source (from what we can gather by the water all turning purple as Kefka drops poison in). This poison is lethal and slow enough that almost everyone in the castle ingests the poison before noticing that people have started dying. Kefka does this knowing that the Doman’s have Imperial soldiers as hostages. Kefka does this while making jokes about “pushing up daisies”. Once again, Kefka is a great villain. This is probably one of the most real evil acts completed by a Final Fantasy villain – the whole ending the world thing is common place, but attempted genocide by poisoning is something that has happened. It is real and this makes Kefka terrifying in a way that other Final Fantasy villains cannot achieve.
There are two people who don’t drink the water, a soldier and Cyan. They rush to the King’s side, and watch him die as he thanks Cyan for his service to the royal family over the years. Cyan’s immediate thought was to make sure that his King was alright, and it was only moments later (after his King reminded him) that he thinks about his family. He runs across to his quarters and finds his wife, Elayne, dead in a chair and his son, Owaine dead lying in bed (their names rhyme, this is a choice).
It’s horrific. The whole event is horrific for Cyan. He is obviously filled with pain and sorrow at this. Kefka had committed genocide against the Doman people, with only two surviving (the other soldier disappears and we don’t see them again from my knowledge). Cyan’s pain flares up and becomes rage, leading to him snapping and wanting to get vengeance by any means. He flies into a rage and attacks any soldier he can without thought. This is when Sabin and Shadow meet up with him. They help him in a few battles while Cyan calms down a little. Sabin explains that they are both on the same side and want to stop the imperials and Cyan agrees to go with them. His reasoning is a little convenient (as you would think Cyan, as the retainer for a kingdom, might have contacts with people in other Kingdoms who can stand up against the Imperials and may want to pursue them. But I guess Sabin as Edgar’s brother so that could be a reason. It’s just not well elaborated).
There is a sequence where the party ride magitech armour and Cyan, being a little bit of a technophobe, finds it very difficult to control the machines. However, they ram through the enemy and get out the other side.
We’ll leave it here for this section. The next one will cover the rest of the Sabin path (including finding our next party member) and so should be lovely. Thanks for reading!