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Storyline text and attempted translations from...

Final Fantasy VI


The second of the three parts of 1-1 "Opening Theme" plays (the first part is used at the title screen) as introductory text and glimpses of various locations are shown on the screen.

Note that I'm using the "Kefka's Domain" English OST release track names rather than the original Japanese ones, partly because they should be more familiar and partly since that's pretty much what I was already using when it finally occurred to me to double-check the actual names.

The Great Magic War:
When that conflict that burned all
to naught ended, the power known
as "magic" vanished from the world.
Long ago, the War of the Magi
reduced the world to a
scorched wasteland, and magic
simply ceased to exist.
Then 1000 years passed...
Iron, gunpowder, steam engines;
mankind used the power of
machines to revive the world.
1000 years have passed... Iron,
gunpowder, and steam engines
have been rediscovered, and
high technology reigns...
In this time when the power of "magic"
has become but a legend, there are
those who would restore it once more
and use its might to rule the world...
But there are some who
would enslave the world by
reviving the dread destructive
force known as "magic."


Are people about to
repeat their mistakes
all over again...?
Can it be that those
in power are on the verge of
repeating a senseless
and deadly mistake?

The music fades out, replaced with a wind sound effect. Two soldiers and a girl enter riding simple mechs. The soldiers wear brown armor with blue gloves and boots, which appears to be a standard uniform. In contrast, the girl's uncovered green hair is in a shoulder-length ponytail, and she wears a red outfit with purple epaulets (shoulder armoring).

Note that the JP version doesn't even bother naming the soldiers in the dialog here. They're just that unimportant.

: That's the city?
: A Genjuu trapped in ice during the
 Great Magic War 1000 years ago...
VICKS: There's the town...
WEDGE: Hard to believe an Esper's been found intact there, 1000 years after the War of the Magi...

Since 幻獣 (genjuu) isn't a simple term, and I like the way it sounds, I've left it as is. The meaning does deserve an explanation, though. 幻 most likely means, in this case, something that is so incredibly rare that it's simply not realistically possible to prove either that it does or that it doesn't exist, something like "fabled". 獣 means "animal" or "beast", and probably refers to the fact that they aren't human, but this doesn't necessarily mean they aren't sentient or intelligent.

Official translations have handled the term differently in various games across the years. I know that FFIV (2 US) mostly calls the same thing "summoned monsters" in accordance with their primary gameplay function, while FFIX takes a more succinct and exotic approach with "eidolon", which seems to have more or less become the standardized version since. It's probably what I'd use if I were translating the game now.

: And it's not just a load of bull?
: Hrm.
 Authorization did come through to use that,
 though, so the intel must be pretty certain.
VICKS: Think it's still alive?
WEDGE: Probably...
...judging from the urgency of our orders.

"That" probably refers to the girl, considering where the conversation goes. It seems she's treated as a secret weapon.

: The girl born with the power of sorcery, huh...
 She beat 50 soldiers in Sorcerous Armor
 in just three minutes, or so they say...
VICKS: And this woman, this...sorcerer. Why's she here?
I heard she fried 50 of our Magitek Armored soldiers in under 3 minutes.
: Don't worry. The thing on her head
 ought to prevent her from thinking.
 She'll act on our orders just fine.
WEDGE: Not to worry. The Slave Crown on her head robs her of all conscious thought. She'll follow orders.

Though not quite as vague as "thing", かざり (kazari) doesn't do much to describe what's on her head, as it's a generic term for anything decorative.

: We'll circle in from the east.
 Move out!
WEDGE: We'll approach from the east.
Move out!

They head towards the town. As the mechs lumber over the snowfield, the opening credits roll, and the third and final part of "Opening Theme" plays.

炭坑都市ナルシェ  Coal Mine City Narshe  | | |  NARSHE

The town lies nestled into the bottom of the cliffs. Snow covers the ground, melted in numerous places from the heat of complicated machinery. The houses seem relatively modern. No music plays; only the sounds of strong winds are heard. The soldiers enter from the south and start into the middle of town.

Put everyone in the back row to reduce damage taken. The special attacks they all use ignore row, and are overpowered enough for now that it wouldn't matter much even if they didn't.

: We'll go in with the girl up front.
 Don't waste effort on the small fry.
 Move out!
WEDGE: Let's put her on point.
No sense taking any risks.

While the generic soldiers have no special abilities, the girl can use some magic (Flame and healing spells), and is the only one with MP (magic points). She additionally has more combat experience.

As the mechs rumble through town, local Guards, and sometimes a canine Silvario or two, attack repeatedly. Those poor fools.

1-5 "Battle Theme" plays during normal battles, and 1-6 "Fanfare" normally plays after victories. Aside from underscoring the incredible combat advantage the mechs give the attackers, battle also reveals that, in addition to magical powers of her own, the girl is better able to use the mech's abilities, and can unleash a variety of attacks that are beyond the skill of the ordinary soldiers.

ガード「帝国の思うようにさせるか! Guard: Like hell we'll let things go the Empire's way! GUARD: Machine-riding,
self-important swine!
Take this!
Guard: The Empire's Sorcerous Armor!?
 They've gotten as far as Narshe!
GUARD: Imperial Magitek Armor?
Not even Narshe's safe anymore!
Guard: We guards will protect Narshe!! GUARD: Narshe's freedom depends on us!
ガード「よし! はさみうちだっ! Guard: All right! We've got them surrounded!! GUARD: We've got 'em trapped, now!

Guards near the mine entrance bring an imposing-looking pair of Megalodolks, but they should pose no real threat.

ガード「炭坑の守りをかためろ! Guard: Fortify the coal mine's defenses! GUARD: We must defend the mines!

Finally, the invading group reaches a mine entrance in the back of town.

: According to intel, the icebound Genjuu
 came from a newly dug coal mine...
 Which would mean, in here?
WEDGE: According to our source, the frozen Esper was found in a new mine shaft.
...Maybe this one...

They head in. 1-2 "The Mines of Narshe" plays inside.

At a save point in the mines...

A mysterious light floods the area...
Want an explanation of save points?
An eerie glow surrounds you.
Want info about Save Points?
At save points, you can save or use
a Sleeping Bag or Tent to rest.
If you've made a save, the game
will automatically resume from that
point even if you're wiped out.
When that happens, gil, any items
you took from chests, and so on
are all reset, but your levels and
experience points won't decrease.
Also, when on the world map,
you can save anywhere.
At Save Points you can use a "Sleeping Bag" or "Tent", and also save a game.
If you should perish, you'll automatically be able to play from your last save.
Though any GP, treasures, etc. you found will have to be found again, your Level and Exp. data will be retained.
You can save a game anywhere on the world map.

They soon come to a barrier. One of the generic soldiers steps forward.

: I've got this.
 Stand back!
VICKS: I'll handle this.
Stand back!

He breaks down the barrier, but a local guard steps out.

ガード「幻獣はわたさない! Guard: We won't hand over the Genjuu! GUARD: We won't hand over the Esper!!
ガード「ユミール! 行け!! Guard: Ymir! Go!! GUARD: Whelk! Get them!

Thanks to Kahran042 for suggesting "Ymir", a frost giant central to Norse mythology. Japanese usually renders that name as ユミル, but it seems close enough, and the NA version of the GBA remake also uses the name Ymir. A whelk, on the other hand, is just a kind of large snail with a pointed spiral shell.

Boss battle time! 1-24 "The Decisive Battle" plays during boss fights, except for a few that are special. For whatever reason, most boss battles in this game don't give any experience points (very useful if you're attempting a low-level game). Since the designers apparently felt generous considering the game has barely started, the soldiers give out a hint first, with excessive jumping and arm-waving...

こいつは…… 思い出したぜ!
This beasty... I remember it!
Hold it!
Think back to our briefing......

こいつ (koitsu) doesn't translate very well. It basically means "this one" or "these ones", and tends to be somewhat derogatory, or at least not respectful. It generally refers to living things, though I've also seen it used for complicated machines.

You know about it?
What about it?!
I've heard stories before about
a monster that eats thunder...
Do you recall hearing about a
monster that eats lightning......
They say it stores up a powerful
electric current in its shell...
......and stores the energy in
its shell!
Don't lay a finger on the shell, Wedge!
Right. So whatever you do,
don't attack the shell!
Got it!
Alright already!

The shell counters with powerful (for this early) Thunder magic damage if attacked. Focus on the head instead. The girl's Sorcery Missile works particularly well. The head will periodically retract into the shell...

グゴゴゴゴ…… Gurgle... Gruuu......

...which prevents it from being targeted, but also prevents the creature from doing anything unless you hit the shell, so use this time to heal. The head will emerge, making the same noise, before long. Being the first boss, this is an easy fight unless you're careless.

Once the monster falls, the invading force proceeds further in, soon coming to a beast frozen in ice.

「これが… 氷づけの幻獣? : Is this... the icebound Genjuu? This is the frozen Esper...

After some blue glowing, the game shifts to a combat screen, but 2-20 "Another World of Beasts" plays instead of battle music. The name bar calls the creature なぞのげんじゅう (Enigmatic Genjuu), or Tritoch in the NA release (and while this is the creature's name in that version, it makes no sense to display it yet).

Hey! Something doesn't seem right.
There's some kind of creepy...!
Hey! What's the matter?
Do you know something we don't......?

Okay, I'm used to differences between the NA and JP versions, but how you could possibly get anything about anyone knowing anything out of that is beyond me.

The creature glimmers, and the girl, who wasn't supposed to be able to act on her own, steps forward...

The icebound monster
began emitting an eerie light...
The frozen creature began
emitting an eerie light......
「な なんだ この光は!……
Wh-what's with this light! ......
Where's that light coming from?! Uwaaaaaaa!!!!

Wedge flickers and vanishes. He's just gone without a trace, mech and all.

あっ、か からだが!!
Wh-what the!?
Wedge, hey, where'd
you disappear to?
Ah, m-my body!!
Wedge......where are you?
W......what's happening?!

Biggs flickers and vanishes, just like Wedge did.

「…… …… ……
...... ...... ......
...... ...... ......

The reaction with the creature intensifies. Auras manifest around it and the girl, energy arcs between them, the mech explodes, and the screen goes black...

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