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ULTROS: The secret of Final Fantasy VI.

In this post I will discuss how the somewhat comical charactor Ultros helped establish the tone of the classic game Final Fantasy VI.

From a literary perspective, Final Fantasy IV remains the crowning jewel of the Final Fantasy franchise. However, as a game and a work of art, Final Fantasy VI is, by far, the best game in the series. It's only competition in all of video game history are the untouchable classics Chrono Trigger and Terranigma.

The cast of Final Fantasy six is an ensamble of the most amazing and compelling charactors ever presented in video games. Each one of them had their own musical score that is instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever played the game from the first bar. But the one thing most of them had in common was the overwhelming intensity to their struggles and backstory. These backstories drove the plot of the game. However, if that was all there was in the game, the game would have failed.

The game was rescued, however, by a silly octapus who would seem to merely be commic releif, ULTROS. It could also be supposed that the only role of Ultros was to make the game more accessible in the 8-14 crowd. But what Ultros actually did was remove the pretentiouusness from the game. Ultros reminded everyone involved that Final Fantasy VI is, first and foremost, an outstanding game. Ultros, despite being annoying, created the fun atmosphere that made the rest of the game so great.

I feel that more recent titles have lost this and have gotten lost in their own pretense. An example of this trend is the progression from morrowind to Oblivion to Skyrim. Morrowind had all manner of goofing off. Oblivion was punctuated by memorable charactors such as Citty Swimmer. And Skyrim had a cast of bland medieval drones with an amazingly high polygon count.

Please put the fun back in games.

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