Famitsu magazine says that Square [Enix] is planning on some special events in 2019 to coincide with Final Fantasy VI's 25th anniversary. I'm guessing we are going to see a lot of FFVI merchandise.

This got me to thinking, what are your memories of initially watching or playing Final Fantasy VI (A.K.A. III for the SNES in North America)?

For me, I didn't own any 16-bit consoles at the time. The newest I owned were my NES (1989), Game Gear (1991), and PC (1993). Therefore, though I couldn't play FFIII at home, I could watch my friend play it at his house on his SNES. After all, his family won a medical lawsuit and the mom spoiled them so they had a new PC, Genesis, SNES, 32X, etc. and their latest games as they were released. Occasionally my friend would offer to let me play FFIII, but usually I would just watch as he played the game. After all, the few times I would play, it would usually be from the beginning for a bit or using his game save - but without overwriting the save - so I could see what he wanted me to see. Therefore I wasn't very far into the game, and he was much further into the game than I, so watching was good enough as I didn't want him to be bored, to spoil things for me, nor tell me where to go.

Final Fantasy III / VI was majestic. I thought FFII and FFIII were incredibly awesome, and watching them be played and occasionally playing them was really cool at the time and the beauty of the graphics and soundtrack often left me dumbstruck. Mostly my friend would play whatever was newest, so FFIII was what I saw the most and wanted to play the most. While I liked and respected FFII, something about FFIII resonated with me more.

It would be years before I would own both the hardware and software which would allow me to play Final Fantasy VI on my own. However the waiting made me appreciate it all the more. When I finally was able to properly play Final Fantasy VI, it was the CD version for PlayStation released as part of Final Fantasy Chronicles. And yes, despite all the lengthy and frequent loading times, I played through the whole game from beginning to end.

Yet there is one part which I wish was "more spoiled" for me. You see, my friend played through the game first and yes, he even showed the ending to me. Thankfully, I didn't understand much of it thanks to being unaware of what happens in the rest of the game. One thing he did explain to me about the ending was about Shadow the ninja. Now I won't repeat it here in case you want to play Final Fantasy VI in a spoiler-free manner, but otherwise I recommend conducting a little research before you play too far into Final Fantasy VI. Unfortunately, while my friend did explain things to me at the time, his words didn't fully stay in my mind as so much of what he was saying was incomprehensible to me as I had played so little of the game. When I finally properly played through FFIII and remembered part of what he told me, I couldn't remember it all, so I had quite a bit of anxiety around a certain moment in the game. However, I didn't want to lose all of my progress through the many difficult battles since the previous save spot. I didn't want to spoil things by reading a strategy guide or a FAQ or a walk-through as I like discovering the content of games for myself and forging my own path.

So I took a chance and bit the bullet. I wish I hadn't. I considered making two different game saves - one before the moment and one afterwards with the path I first chose so I could go back and replay the section in question - but I wasn't sure how long it would take before I'd see the difference caused by my actions. Ever since then, I've been tempted to replay through Final Fantasy VI, but it seemed like so much work just to change one little yet important choice. Sure, I could watch a video of it, but it's not the same, now is it?

What are your memories of Final Fantasy VI?