Final Fantasy VI: Dragon Hunt

The story in the second half of FF6 is all about finishing things, tying up loose ends from the first half. And it’s funny, because a lot of those loose ends are things that I don’t remember until I see them tied up. There was even one major loose end — the Terra vs Phunbaba 1A bad transliteration: it should be Humbaba, the demon from the epic of Gilgamesh (and in some later editions, it is). Mistakes like this happen a lot in the translations of the Final Fantasy series, due to their predilection for throwing in random elements from diverse mythologies that the translators aren’t necessarily familiar with. arc — from the early part of the second half that I didn’t remember. Things I don’t remember are things that I can’t pursue as goals. But that hardly matters, because implicit goals are provided by the game’s very structure: you visit every dot on the map, talk to every NPC, and explore every dungeon, and in the process, you wind up completing the story.

But there’s one other set of major goals the game has provided for me: finding and slaying the great dragons. There are eight of them. I know this because the first time I killed one, I got a message telling me I had killed 1 of 8 dragons. Re-exploring the parts that Celes passed through alone a year ago, I find there’s an NPC who explains how the dragons were released by the cataclysms or something — I don’t remember the details, but there’s some kind of reward for killing them all — probably some magicite yielding Bahamut, the dragon-king summonable from previous games.

I’ve racked up 5 dragons already without really trying, because they tend to show up in places where you’d go anyway: slightly off the main trunk of a dungeon, for example. One of them was even squatting in the opera house. Unlike random encounters, you can see the great dragons as you wander the area: they show up as single-map-tile sprites just like heroes and NPCs, and they look misleadingly cute in that form, like geckos with little wings. So you know when you’ve found them.

Nonetheless, I’ve pretty much run out of places to look, and I’m still short three. I suppose I should recheck the places that I visited with only Celes and Sabin. I would have been avoiding optional boss fights at that point, so I might have passed a dragon by. And after that? I’ll just have to recheck everyplace else. This is basically the stage of the game where it all comes down to grinding: I’m preparing to assault Kefka’s tower, but I need to be stronger before I can make a serious attempt at it. The dragon hunt at least turns the final grind into something purposeful. It gives you something to do other than just wander back and forth and wait to be attacked.

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1. A bad transliteration: it should be Humbaba, the demon from the epic of Gilgamesh (and in some later editions, it is). Mistakes like this happen a lot in the translations of the Final Fantasy series, due to their predilection for throwing in random elements from diverse mythologies that the translators aren’t necessarily familiar with.

1 Comment so far

  1. Mark on 13 May 2010

    Two of them are within the final dungeon. There is not, to my knowledge, a point of no return prior to the battle itself.

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