Kefka’s Tower is easily the best end area in any Final Fantasy and quite possibly the best end stage I’ve played in any RPG, for a couple of reason:
- Multiple parties – Up until this point, the game has required the player to create and switch between at most two different parties to work through the puzzles of certain dungeons. In Kefka’s Tower they kick it up a notch and require you to form three different parties to ascend the tower. I think one of the greatest strengths of Final Fantasy 6 is that they keep things fresh by introducing new twists and this is just one example of that. They also did a very nice job of designing the tower to accommodate this new setup, all three parties are required to solve the various puzzles and proceed to the end.
- Multiple parties part 2 – The three party requirement is even more interesting because Final Fantasy 6 has exactly twelve regular characters (and two hidden ones), so they’re essentially forcing you to use every single regular character available to you. I’ve always found this to be a little more realistic, the fate of the world is hanging in the balance, why wouldn’t ever one come? What prior obligation could be more important? And it makes Kefka seem that much more badass, because you really need to bring everyone to take him down.
- Bosses – This end area has to have the most bosses of any RPG I’ve played: Atma, Gold Drgn, Inferno, Skull Drgn, Guardian, Poltrgeist, Doom, Goddess and Kefka himself. The last half of the tower is basically just a series of bosses.
- It’s hard – For a couple of reasons. First, since you have to use so many characters, many of whom you may not have leveled up that much throughout the game, even relatively simple random battles can turn bad quickly as the sub-par characters aren’t pulling their own weight. Two, trying to equip twelve characters with quality items just isn’t going to happen, there’s just not enough good items to go around, someone’s going to get the short end of the stick. Three, some of the bosses have charge up or near death attacks that can wipe your party if your not fast enough and don’t have the proper spells to counter them (Atma casting Ultima, Guardian if he’s not killed fast). Finally, some of the randomly encountered monsters (Doom Drgn, Sky Base) are extremely difficult to manage, even with the best of parties. But I’d rather it be hard and feel a sense of accomplishment then it be too easy.
All these factors combine to make Kefka’s Tower really feel epic, to me. And that’s not even including the final battle, which will be it’s own item, but could be included here.
I’ve been replaying Final Fantasy III (VI) on the SNES and have decided to document 100 different ways how VI is better than any of the Final Fantasys released in recent years. I think I can come up with 100. If not, I’ll just unceremoniously end this segment.
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