It’s Time for Final Fantasy VI Remake

The recent announcement of Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake in the glorious retro HD-2D style reignites a call that many RPGamers have made previously: Final Fantasy VI Remake. Of all the 16-bit golden RPGs, Final Fantasy VI is the best candidate to recycle with the HD-2D treatment. A new generation of players would enjoy the greatest access to the masterpiece, and RPGamers of yore would be awash in nostalgia.

Those calls have become a more powerful drum beat, signaling that the world is ready for Final Fantasy VI Remake in HD-2D graphics. Games like Octopath Traveler, Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake, and Secret of Mana Remake strongly suggest that high-def reinventions of low-res pixelated adventures have great potential for success, so there’s little reason not to apply the HD-2D technique and reinvigorate other classic RPGs. If only one more was to receive the magical HD retouch while maintaining the traditional 16-bit pixel artwork, Final Fantasy VI is it.

Final Fantasy VI was originally released as Final Fantasy III for the Super NES in America.

Back when the title was Final Fantasy III on the Super NES in America, it was the first RPG that I ever encountered. The game holds a unique place in my fond memories because when I first played, my high hopes were dashed as I didn’t understand it. With its plodding dialogue, numerous menus, and lack of real-time action, I was befuddled. Town environments lacked platforming and instead were filled with many NPCs to talk with, which didn’t compute in my arcade game frame of mind. It was after a friend walked me through the first part of the game, showing me what it was all about, that the confusion debuff was removed. That’s when it finally clicked, and I discovered that FFVI was an epic work of art and the RPG genre was a vast world of immersive gaming plus storytelling.

Thanks to that enlightenment, I wish to relive the magnificence of FFVI with the gorgeous modernization of sprite-based graphics in Square Enix’s HD-2D engine. Having experienced it firsthand in Octopath Traveler, this high-def treatment keeps the tangible 16-bit square pixels and casts a spell of warm familiarity with them. Then it makes them shine with realistic lighting effects and breathes life into them with fluid animation. The combo of quaint and cutting-edge art design topped with quasi-3D environs to explore somehow captures the 2D style of the past while adding depth for fascinating accessibility. The HD-2D engine showcases harmonious juxtaposition with a masterful balance of classic and modern gaming graphics.

Picture this DQIII HD-2D setting as Figaro Castle in the desert from Final Fantasy VI.

No other sprawling adventure could be better complemented with pseudo-3D dungeons and towns, life-like lighting, and magic spell particle effects than FFVI. The game has one of the largest and most diverse cast of characters, all of whom would play great in such a wondrous presentation. To further enhance the game, Nobuo Uematsu’s wonderful soundtrack should be rearranged for and recorded with a full orchestra, while retaining some of the blips and beeps from the original, providing sound and music design akin to the treatment found in Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition.

With updated aural and visual delight, FFVI Remake would stoke the fires of fondness in many RPGamers, treating them to nostalgic nirvana. For fear of getting in spoiler territory for those newcomers who would be attracted to such a release, imagine the infamous scene with the devilish Kefka at the water’s edge remade with 3D depth, sparkling water turned dark, all dramatically illuminated or overcast with realistic light and shadow. Re-envision the World of Balance thrown into chaos, a World of Ruin in stunning HD-2D. Picture Magitek and Espers refreshed in new spectacular fashion. FFVI Remake would enthrall players and also enrich developer Square Enix, who could position the HD-2D remake in contrast to the style that FFVII Remake enjoys.

Imagine radiant lighting and spectacular spell effects in HD-2D here.

Beyond blessing those who played through FFVI before, a remake would put an excellent game in the hands of a new generation of players to experience it for the first time. The HD-2D graphics would be enough to modernize the classic 16-bit era style for newcomers to grasp. Along with that, all the modern quality-of-life improvements could be smartly added. For example, simple things like the option to turn off random encounters at will or increase battle speed would be a great start. Also making matters better, a new fast-travel system could be injected into the overworld.

With such a great game and great modernization techniques, now is a great time for developers to create Final Fantasy VI Remake. The game deserves to be relived by older gamers and discovered by newer players alike. Access to both the nostalgic and the new might be too good to be true, but it really is time to make this dream a reality.


Jason McFadden

Jason enjoys life somewhere along the geek/nerd spectrum. He has liked video games since the Atari 2600, is a Nintendo fan, and his favorite game type is JRPG. Also, he blocks out time for Minecraft on occasion. Outside of gaming, he's been known to savor tex-mex, coffee, and hiking outdoors (not at the same time).

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7 Responses

  1. WinD WinD says:

    While I agree with the sentiment and believe it would do HUUUUGE sales numbers for Square Enix, I always have that fear that they will mess it up. I know you are calling for a direct enhancement that stays as true as possible to the original source material as possible; It seems to only be done for titles that need a boost in international sales numbers. (Dragon Quest III while absolutely fantastic is a great example of a game that has a vision that could be unleashed further in the upcoming Remake.)

    In Regard to Final Fantasy VI, It did everything with art design and sprites to display emotion for each character that was “the next level” compared to any other SNES game. Let’s say the game was void or lacking character emotions being portrayed visually – That would be one reason I would greenlight the idea. With FFVI we received the gold treatment for what the artists had been capable of doing on the SNES. My fear would be losing the impact of scenes by having them altered.

    If they could use some sort of high-resolution remake with a rotoscope esque technique and keep absolutely everything while raising the resolution, then I am all for it!
    While I understand the modernization concept of removing or allowing the player to alter random encounters; that would most likely create an entire rebalance of progress. Of course, it can be done to the point of keeping the same game-pacing – It just might end up with a luke-warm feel.

    Mainly with the FF4 Free Enterprise community and the FF6 Speed-Runs such as “Kefka At Narsh” rising in popularity I can understand why analytically SEoA may begin to think about such a project. Although my main conflict against a remake is “I want the same things enhanced”. You also want the same things enhanced it just feels like studios feel the /need/ to change X Y or Z whenever they remaster a game let alone remake it. In the era of Film remakes and reboots, the games industry has jumped into the same bandwagon and I really want to see more new ideas.

    I appreciate your opinion and insight, a well-written piece.
    – Wind

  2. Hey WinD, thanks for commenting. You bring up good points.

    I’ve heard others echo the same concern of ruining the original with a remake. I can understand that. Case in point: Star Wars prequels and sequels maybe..? Changing what’s perfect inevitably results in imperfection. Or, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.”

    I’d make the distinction between the story and the story telling. FFVI game/story: don’t change it. But re-tell it via HD-2D. And in the re-telling, be careful not to change the story itself. Personally, I like FFVI and the HD-2D style so much, I’ll take that chance. To me it’d be worth the risk. If a remake failed, the original would still be great to those who played it. Newcomers, though, would suffer, as would the game’s name/title.

    I trust/think the developer is wise enough to make it work, assuming they first decide it’s a worthy endeavor. Then again, Square Enix seems focused on FFVII Remake for a while. But since it’s seeing success, maybe FFVI Remake would see likewise.

    One can hope.

    Oh, and to your point about new ideas, I’m looking forward to playing Bravely Default II. Yes, it’s not really new now (3rd iteration), but it’s newish. Actually, the BP system, outside of Octopath, is new to me. New ideas, though novel, don’t necessarily see success. Both new games and remakes risk failure.

    I appreciate your feedback, c-ya, Jason aka FullyRendered.

  3. Keithustus Keithustus says:

    VI has been my favorite RPG ever since its release so I’ve always wanted a proper remastered edition. The mobile/PC version is an embarrassment. Converting it to “Octopath style” is our first good hope, especially if they can bring in the right music tracks (Tokyo Philharmonic?). Call me a weirdo, maybe, as I’ve always wanted quality voice acting to go along with the wonderful sprites. Toggling random encounters though seems crazy though, like removing goombas from Mario games.

  4. sabin sabin says:

    I’m Commander Privitere and this is my favorite editorial on RPGamer.

  5. MyopicMirror MyopicMirror says:

    I far prefer the 3D-2D look over the lazy flash animation of the mobile ports. So many of the classic Square Enix libraries can get “freshened” up by the treatment. I also think it would be a good idea for older 3D games like Chrono Cross. I really hope that Chrono Trigger gets the 3D-2D treatment someday!

    • WinD WinD says:

      Pre-Rendered problems used to be a problem, although… It actually shouldn’t be an excuse anymore as we know from Nvidia’s AI reconstruction technology they could re-create all of the pre-rendered backgrounds in 4K.
      I would have loved to see that for FF7 prior to the remake.

  6. I’d certainly be down for this sort of remake! Back in the day, I hoped for a 3D remake ala Final Fantasy IV DS (albeit much better looking), but that never came to pass.

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