16. Rachel Comes Back…Briefly

presented by nibbishment

As my companion in this countdown has stated, Final Fantasy VI’s story suffers a bit post-sundering. I get a lot of what they were trying to do – giving each individual character’s storyline a satisfying conclusion, but for the most part, they don’t stick.

Not pictured: A satisfying end to a character storyline.

One of the prime exceptions to this is Locke’s storyline with Rachel. The alluded to (and briefly shown through flashback) loss of Rachel informs everything about Locke’s character, from his hatred of the empire to his humor and most especially, his driven need to protect others. Seeing that storyline get wrapped up felt natural and actually had the emotional payoff that was lacking in other storylines.

Don't worry, Strago. I can mock your awfulness even here.
Not pictured: Old geezers wandering around in circles around a tower.

Plus, the Phoenix Cave is one of the most fun dungeons in the game. Forcing the player to split the party up to open doors and play with some of the weaker members of the party was a lot of fun, in its own right. They would utilize that mechanic to nice effect later in the game, obviously, but in my opinion, the Phoenix Cave was where it really shone.

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