FF6 Staff Talks Development --Shiva's V-Jump Notes

Posted: 18th September 2009 05:47

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I just got done translating the FF6-related material out of this document - it describes the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy specials that ran in V-Jump magazine in the mid to late 90s. It was a fun project - I liked working on it so much I didn't bother to check if anyone has translated it already. tongue.gif So maybe all the stuff I'm going to list here is already on the Final Fantasy wiki or something, but I'm just going to go for it anyway.

After FF6 was released, V-Jump ran a monthly article series called FF Colosseum. Above all it featured dev team members talking about character backstories and abandoned ideas. Hironobu Sakaguchi and Kaori Tanaka (a.k.a. Soraya Saga) show up frequently, but everybody else on the team sadly gets lumped together. The articles go through the characters more or less one at a time, so that's what I'll do... Except for the Figaro brothers, who are amply discussed over here.

Terra - The character that eventually became Terra was always a half-Esper, but early on she was a young man in her early 20s instead. Towards the end of development the staff planned to have Terra disappear with the Espers at the end of the game, but then decided that was going too far since she has asserted her human side by that point in the story. So in the end she remains, sans magic.

Sakaguchi says that Terra learns Ultima naturally at Lv.99. I'm not very stat minded, and I don't know if that's true. tongue.gif

Locke - Like Terra, he was very different in the beginning - older (slightly), kind of mysterious and dark, a rival/partner to the male proto-Terra, had the Runic command. As story development proceeded Locke's personality became more open until we arrived at the pretty regular guy (albeit with an unfortunate past) that we have today.

Locke has a past! His father was also a treasure hunter and Locke traveled with him. Eventually his father died and everyone started treating Locke like a common thief - everyone but Rachel. Unfortunately Rachel's father never approved of Locke, so in an attempt to prove himself Locke went exploring in a dangerous cave. This is where disaster befell Rachel...

Celes - She was always an Imperial mage knight, but early on she was also the archetypal conflicted spy, swayed from her basically naughty (treacherous) ways by how good the good guys are and how nice Locke is to her. (Thankfully they developers didn't stick with this.) On a more interesting note, Celes, like Kefka, was psychologically unstable - using magic was apparently bad for your mental health in early versions of the FF6 story.

Now it's way past my bedtime, I'll start up again later.

This post has been edited by Shiva Indis on 18th September 2009 22:34

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Posted: 18th September 2009 12:36

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I wub.gif you Shiva!

As far as I know, there's no translation of this, and believe me I've been searching like crazy. There are a few notes around like male Terra but nothing too deep. For example, I didn't know about Locke's father and spy Celes, the Magitek factory scene makes more sense now.

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Posted: 18th September 2009 23:16

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Okay, back to business. I'm glad to hear that my efforts aren't redundant! happy.gif

Cyan - His character stayed pretty consistent all the way through development. The interesting part is that there was a character that ended up getting cut that interacted with him. Her name was Angela, and considering that she had a weapon -- a whip, -- she might have been intended as a playable character. I infer from the 'anego (big sister) character' label the developers gave her that she was mid-20's, had a take-charge attitude, and was rather sultry. She liked to flirt with Cyan, who would always over-react... rather like that little exchange that Cyan has in the bar in Nikeah.

As we can see from the GBA version of FF6, the Japanese names of Cyan's sword techniques are very spare, but in development they had over-dramatic names like Chou Bakuretsu Hiryuu Zan (super explosive flying dragon slice)! blink.gif

Gau - Not much on Gau, the developers go out and say he doesn't have much to do with the plot. They do mention that in development the reunion with Gau's dad took place in the WoB and was shorter. But both Sabin and Cyan were involved with it.

Setzer - The story about how the developers first wanted a gambler in FF5, but couldn't pull it off until FF6 is mentioned; I know this story is already out there. Also, if you wanted positive proof that Setzer's scars come from gambling sessions gone wrong, it's here. But the dev team also proposes airship accidents for some of them.

Again, this is not the sort of thing I pay attention to, but apparently Setzer joins the party with a Bandana equipped, but he can't equip bandanas. It's implied that this is a sort of inside joke meant to show Setzer's vanity. He wouldn't be caught dead wearing the same thing as Locke.

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Posted: 19th September 2009 10:00
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Quote (Shiva Indis @ 17th September 2009 23:47)
Sakaguchi says that Terra learns Ultima naturally at Lv.99. I'm not very stat minded, and I don't know if that's true. tongue.gif

Yeah, it's true. Celes learns Meteor at 98 if you're curious.

That Bandana fact caught me by surprise though. If that's indeed true and not a cover story made up after the fact... oh who cares, that's awesome either way. It also means the joke was lost on damn near everyone, especially the bug hunters and port programmers. I feel kinda bad calling it a bug now.

Was Slot explained at all BTW? Given it is a pseudosummoning ability, there's got to be a story behind why Setzer has it.

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Posted: 19th September 2009 12:09

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Shiva, your efforts are far from redundant. It seems as though they don't care much for Gau...poor Gau...
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Posted: 19th September 2009 13:39

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Quote (Master ZED @ 19th September 2009 06:00)
Yeah, it's true. Celes learns Meteor at 98 if you're curious.

And, unsurprisingly, CoN has full lists of innate learned magic on the characters pages. smile.gif

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Posted: 20th September 2009 03:27

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Thanks for the info - if there was anywhere to look that sort of data this would be the place.

Quote (Master ZED @ 19th September 2009 05:00)
That Bandana fact caught me by surprise though.  If that's indeed true and not a cover story made up after the fact... oh who cares, that's awesome either way.  It also means the joke was lost on damn near everyone, especially the bug hunters and port programmers.  I feel kinda bad calling it a bug now.


So you noticed this anomaly before? I have a hard time imagining that many players would notice (maybe it's just because I never did). The part of the document where this was discussed had a Q&A setup but the questions often seemed canned/leading to me, so perhaps it was just something that the developers wanted to mention, rather than a cover story. That's what I like to think, anyway. biggrin.gif Also, you seem to be suggesting that the GBA version changed this. Can he equip bandanas now?

I wish I had more Setzer stuff for you, but that's all there was. But, I still have quite a few characters to go!

Relm - Kaori Tanaka contributed the Relm stuff, and most of it ends up tying into the Figaro material that's already over here. But Tanaka does give a story-based background on Relm's Control command - monsters have secret names, and whoever knows them has power over them. (Unfortunately she offers no explanation as to how a mustache gives insight into the secret names of monsters, which is too bad. tongue.gif)

Strago - During development he had a 65-year-old Geomancer wife named Lara. (Or maybe Lala - I fancy that the name is a reference to old magical girl manga/anime such as Magical Girl Lalabel.) Strago and his wife often got into amusing arguments, like so:

Lara: I'm sure you're going to kick the bucket before me!
Strago: What? You're the one who's got more wrinkles!
Lara: On second thought, I bet you're in debt. I'll go first!!

Shadow - Shadow is Relm's dad! I'm sure you're all shocked, but please try to stay calm. biggrin.gif This information, like how there are 5 Shadow dreams and they reveal Shadow's connection to Relm, was probably valuable to some players back in '95.

More interesting is that the dev team considered having a scene in a bar where Strago asks Shadow to reveal his identity.

Strago: I have one request... Show me your face. Even if you are him, I have no intention of wasting time trying to talk you into staying. I just want to know... for Relm's sake...
Shadow: ...... (He takes off his mask and shows Strago his face. However, his back is turned so that the player can't see.)
Strago: Thank you... Shadow. ...Come, let's have a drink.

Mog - Not much on Mog, but the prerelease version had a different way of getting him to rejoin in WoR. There was a extra area in Narshe dubbed "the Moogle Hole" ( blush.gif ) which had about 20 moogles running around in it. One of them was Mog and if you could talk to him he would rejoin, but he's indistinguishable from the others. Even worse, the Moogles move so quickly that it was hard to keep track of which ones you already talked to. The developers decided this was too aggravating. (I always thought it was odd that Mog was in that cave all alone, and this seems to shed some light on it.)

Umaro - The initial idea for Umaro was a character that wandered randomly on the world map who could be caught using bait, much like what you do with Gau. Sakaguchi also says that Umaro apparently has a strong sense of honor, and he feels like he owes a debt to Mog because Mog saved his life. He had collapsed from exhaustion and Mog shared some food with him.

Gogo - No great mysteries of Gogo are discussed, but the earlier setup for getting Gogo in your party is discussed (and it's fascinating IMO). In the prerelease version Gogo could be found randomly in one of the bars in one of the towns, disguised as one of the characters that you hadn't gotten to re-join you yet. Suppose Gogo is disguised as Locke - if you got real Locke from the Phoenix Cave and took him to Gogo, Gogo would reveal him/herself and join up. However, Gogo changed locations and forms based on a timer so there was a chance that by the time you returned with the real Locke, Gogo would be somewhere else in a different disguise. Again, the developers thought this was too difficult.

Banon and Arvis - In response to the question "Are Banon and Arvis dead?" Sakaguchi says, "Use your imagination." pinch.gif Cop-out!

Biggs and Wedge - They have a short Q&A:

--It it true that Biggs and Wedge can rejoin the party?
Biggs: Unfortunately we're only in the party at the beginning.
Wedge: Man, does this question come up a lot. Tell Square that you want to see us in the next game!

--Valigarmanda made you both disappear... so are you dead?
Biggs: We traveled through dimensions and ended up in Leene Square in Chrono Trigger!
Wedge: Bekkler found us and now we have new jobs. (haha)

Please note that this came out of the Jan. 96 issue, 2 months before Chrono Trigger was released in Japan.

This post has been edited by Shiva Indis on 20th September 2009 03:28

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Posted: 20th September 2009 03:51

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This is interesting stuff. I always found the older games more interesting, because there was a wealth of information that wasn't clear in the game that left you wondering. Bravo!

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Posted: 20th September 2009 09:39
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Quote (Shiva Indis @ 19th September 2009 21:27)
So you noticed this anomaly before? I have a hard time imagining that many players would notice (maybe it's just because I never did). The part of the document where this was discussed had a Q&A setup but the questions often seemed canned/leading to me, so perhaps it was just something that the developers wanted to mention, rather than a cover story. That's what I like to think, anyway. biggrin.gif
Someone did, I forget if it was me. I know it's in the bugs guide, or at least, it was "discovered" around that time.

The other reason I asked about Slot is that its story might even explain why the only Coin Toss/Heiji's Jitte in the entire world lies a couple rooms after the entrance of the Cave to the Sealed Gate. If one assumed Slot comes from some really powerful magicite (and that maybe he didn't know about what it does or is hiding what he knows), he may have tried out treasure hunting once, got the magicite in question, then got spooked horribly by something and ran screaming, dropping the weapon relic in the process. Maybe he went in as a result of losing a bet, leading to the same conclusion. Maybe it's just coincidence that the Heiji's Jitte is there at all and the magicite came from a gambling victory (perhaps from or someone like Owzer?). There's plenty of fanfic material in that, even if there's no official explanation behind one of the oddest but potentially strongest abilities in the game.

Quote (Shiva Indis @ 19th September 2009 21:27)
Also, you seem to be suggesting that the GBA version changed this. Can he equip bandanas now?
Actually, he just doesn't come with one at all in that version. Either way, the joke is gone on GBA.

This post has been edited by Master ZED on 20th September 2009 09:49

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Posted: 10th November 2009 22:04

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Quote (Shiva Indis @ 20th September 2009 03:27)
More interesting is that the dev team considered having a scene in a bar where Strago asks Shadow to reveal his identity.

Strago: I have one request... Show me your face. Even if you are him, I have no intention of wasting time trying to talk you into staying. I just want to know... for Relm's sake...
Shadow: ...... (He takes off his mask and shows Strago his face. However, his back is turned so that the player can't see.)
Strago: Thank you... Shadow. ...Come, let's have a drink.

That would have been, awesome. These are wicked. happy.gif
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