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Final Fantasy VI: Remix – Chapter 1 January 17, 2009

Posted by thejinx in ff6, writing.
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A few months delayed in posting, here is chapter one of my rewrite of the Super Nintendo classic Final Fantasy VI.  In the previous chapter, a mysterious girl with the unique ability to use magic encounters an ancient creature of legend, frozen in time from the war that tore magic away from the world a thousand years ago.

In chapter 1, she awakens.

Chapter 1 – Awakening

Her head pounded as she began to awaken. The world around her was quiet and warm, and it swam dizzingly. Slowly, her stomach settled and vision cleared as she opened her eyes. She lay on a small bed in a simple room. Outside the window, a breeze swirled snow through the air. Moaning, she sat up and clutched her head, the blankets slipping down off her body and exposing the short, patterned red dress she wore.

A door opened. Looking up, she found a middle-aged man standing at the entrance to the room. He smiled at her.

“Where am I?” she stated before he could speak.

“You’re safe for now,” he answered patiently. She swung her legs off the bed, clenching her teeth against the fading pain in her head.

“What happened?” She shook her head. “I can’t remember anything.”

The man nodded slowly. “That’s understandable, considering what happened.”

“No,” she stated distractedly. “I don’t remember anything at all.” She tried to wrack her mind for some memory to cling to, but it was as if she had never lived before this day.

The man’s arms fell slowly as his eyes widened. “Oh. I see.” He smiled once more. “Well, don’t worry. It’ll come back to you, in time.”

“Terra,” she stated, the word coming subconsciously to her lips. She turned the name over in her head, recognizing it immediately. “My name is Terra Branford.”

The man shifted, and she looked up to find his smile warmer. “It’s nice to meet you, Terra. My name is Arvis.”

She glanced up at him. “You… helped me?”

Arvis nodded. “No one deserves to be left out in the cold. Besides, you didn’t seem like the Imperial soldier type.”

Terra’s brow furrowed. “Imperial?” The word tickled her mind, a shadow as faint and fleeting as the flap of a butterfly wing.

He shook his head. “Never mind. Why don’t you come into the living room? The boiler heat doesn’t distribute very well. I have a fire going.” He turned to walk out of the room. Stepping into her boots, Terra stood. She paused and glanced out the window. Snow was falling outside. She stared hard at the falling flakes, feeling something vaguely familiar about the sight, but nothing stirred. Shaking her head, she followed the older man out of the room.

Arvis smiled as she entered the living room, his form glowing from the flickering light of a hearth fire. As she approached him, she turned her head to gaze at the flames. A strange shape seemed to glow within them. She tilted her head curiously as she examined it.

Suddenly–

Destruction. Ashes and molten embers. Charred husks of machines as flames shoot out of her hands.

She threw herself back with a gasp.

“What is it?” Arvis asked, concerned.

Terra glanced away, hand laid against her temple from a surging headache. “Nothing.”

Arvis cocked his head to the side and took a half-step forward, his voice hesitant. “Do you remember anything about what happened?”

She shook her head. Slowly, she turned to him, considering what he had said and the vision she experienced. “Did I… do something wrong?”

He sighed as he crossed the room to a shelf against the wall. “Whatever you did, I don’t think you meant to do it.” He picked up an item on the shelf and strode over to her. “I found you wearing this.” She examined the object in his hands. It was a headband of iron, simple and harsh. “When I took it off you, life seemed to come back into your eyes.” She reached a hand toward it. “I think it might have something to do with your memory loss, and your actions before then.”

As her fingers brushed the rough iron surface, a wave of energy washed over her, dark and malicious, and in a flash, an image flared in her mind.

Bound to a chair in a tiny metal room, struggling against her bonds, thrashing her head as a figure approaches.

She drew back several paces, shuddering from the hint of memory. Even as it came, it was hazy at best, but the emotions of the memory clung to her. Terror, desperation, isolation, the hopelessness of being utterly trapped.

Arvis only gazed at her worriedly as she rubbed her hand, trying to push away the memory. “I… think you’re right.”

He quickly replaced the headband on the shelf. “Are you hungry?”

She shook her head, not facing him. “I’m alright.” She turned as the floorboards creaked under Arvis’s steps. “What did I do?”

He laid a hand on her shoulder with a soft smile. “Let’s have lunch first.”

**

She awoke to pounding on the front door. She could hear Arvis’s frustrated hiss in the living room. “I knew it was only a matter of time before they came.” Quickly rising, Terra slipped on her boots and approached the doorway.

“Open up! Give us back the girl and the armour!”

Terra blinked. “Armour?” They weren’t talking about a suit of armour, and they weren’t talking about one. How she knew, she couldn’t say.

“Hold on!” Arvis called. “Hold your horses!” Turning, he gestured furiously at Terra. “Go out the back door! The bridge will take you into the mines.”

The pounding against the door persisted. “Open this door, in the name of the Empire!” Terra stood frozen, fear choking her and holding her still.

“Hurry! Get out of here!” Arvis persisted, pushing her in the direction of the back door next to the bedroom where she had been staying. Roused, she ran over to the door.

“Wait!”

Terra paused. Arvis held out a sheathed short sword. “Take this.” Hesitating briefly, Terra grasped the weapon as Arvis called out to the people at the door. She laid a hand on the doorknob, but paused as she glanced back at the older man.

“Thank you.”

He smiled. “Good luck. Now go!”

Nodding, Terra slipped out the door into the frigid air blowing down from the mountain. Creeping along the walkways connecting the upper stories of the houses, she tried to glance down through the grate floor at the people pounding furiously at Arvis’s door. As she peered around the corner of his house, she spotted people in uniform, muskets and swords at their sides. Holding her breath, she continued toward the bridge leading to the distant mines at a crouch. Snowflakes bit coldly at her skin as they fell on her and her breath came out in clouds. She ignored the cold as she crawled onto the bridge. If she could make it across the main street and into the caves beyond, she would be safe.

Suddenly, a voice called out, “She’s up there!”

Gasping, she turned, spying the soldiers on the ground, pointing up at her. Abandoning caution, she threw herself to her feet and raced toward the open mines. Soldiers barked out orders behind her and she could hear the distant pounding of running feet behind the clatter of her own boots on the metal walkway. Soon, her feet fell on stone and she raced into the mine shaft.

She skidded to a hasty stop, pebbles turned up by her boots tumbling down a chasm opening up inside the mountain. She paused, catching her breath. The mine shaft was wide, amply lit with torches lining the walls. Picks and hammers littered the floor and boulders lay against the ground beneath the walls from which they were cut. It was clearly an old mine, as the rails for the mine carts had rusted half to dust.

Catching her breath, Terra continued at a rushed, but cautious pace. The mine closed in around her, trapping her in a timeless world of firelit stone. The squeaks of rats rang through the caves, bats fluttering away as she strode deeper into the mine. She clutched the sword Jarvis had given her like a beacon of strength.

Minutes stretched on as she navigated the winding tunnels of the mine, though it could have been hours. Between the silence and her furiously pounding heart, she had no way to tell how long she strode through the caves. Her mind turned over the events that had passed, but without remembering anything about her life or what she had done, she could discern little. Her stomach growled from hunger and her eyes began to grow heavy.

Then, she turned a corner and saw soldiers emerge from a staircase down the hall. As soon as she saw them, they saw her.

“Got her!”

Turning, she began racing back the way she came, but lurched to a stop after a few paces, as several more soldiers approached down that tunnel. She backed away toward the bend in the corridor, glancing between the groups of soldiers advancing on her. She was trapped. She drew the sword sheathed at her hip with shaking hands, though she knew she didn’t stand a chance against all of them.

As her foot fell on the back corner of the wall, stone crumbled and the floor gave out beneath her. With a shriek, she lost her balance and plummeted through the gap in the floor to a chamber twenty feet below. She cried out as she slammed into the floor, stones crashing down around her. Lights flared in front of her eyes and her head pounded.

Weakly, her senses seeming detached from herself, she rolled over and tried to get to her feet, but her arms gave out and she collapsed, the voices of the soldiers above falling silent as everything grew dark.

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Comments»

1. MagitekElite - March 14, 2010

Wow, you have a great talent in writing. I am also writing a novelization of FFVI, and reading yours gives me inspiration to continue and to try even harder.

It is very lovely and I can’t wait to read chapter 2, when it is out.

thejinx - March 14, 2010

Thanks so much! I’m really glad you enjoyed this. I think it’s so neat how different people can have different interpretations of the same story. I’m really happy to hear I inspired you. Happy writing!

2. zynga chips - March 20, 2010

i wouldn’t have said this had been great a handful of years ago then again its amusing the way in which time shifts the means by which you comprehend totally different ideas, thanks with regard to the article it happens to be great to see anything clever now and then in lieu of the customary trash mascarading as blogs on the web, i’m going to take up a couple of hands of zynga poker, cheers

3. Travis Lambert - July 15, 2010

You might be interested in my full-length novelization of Final Fantasy VI, The Esper, which can be read on my website.

thejinx - July 15, 2010

Thanks for the link. I had a look at the first chapter. You have a very classical writing style. Good stuff.


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