Last month, Kim from Later Levels invited us to participate in Love Your Backlog Week. It was a fun event for all of us in the community to show off our
shame prize collections and take time to evaluate it. A question that was asked of us was what was one of the oldest games on our backlog that has gone unfinished. For me, that honor went to a little unknown game called Final Fantasy VI.
This game and I have been through a lot. I picked this up sometime after it was released on the Gameboy Advance. I knew absolutely nothing about this game or what it was about. It was another RPG to add to my handheld collection. I was not prepared for what I was getting myself into. My brother and I got instantly hooked on it. There was something about the story, combat, and world that keep us coming back for more. For as much as we played it, it soon lead to a defect that we were not too unfamiliar with.
One day when booting up the game, I noticed that both of our files were missing. We have had games in the past that would lose our data, but we had methods to attempt to revive them (no one told us blowing into the cart can do more harm than good). After several attempts and no results, we were left contempt to just start all over again (it really was no big deal to us at the time). The headache did not stop there however. We noticed that if we drop the game on accident, our data would be erased. If we took it out of one Gameboy and put it in another, there was a chance the data would erase. If we gave it the slightest tap, it would sometimes erase our data. This soon turned into a frustration and fear of playing it in the event our data would just be erased. We couldn’t trade it in for a different copy since by that time it became a hard to find game for cheap; and us country boys didn’t have money just laying around. We counted our losses and just lived with it.
Enter the age of emulation!
We here at Tales of the Backlog do not endorse emulation for your all of your gaming needs. While it is nice to be able to play hard to find games through the practice, pirating games should not be an option and it takes away support from the developers and their lives. If you own the game however I see no problem since you already showed your support. Please support the official release! I was introduced to emulation when I first started college and it blew my mind at the time. I mostly stuck with Gameboy Advance games since they ran better on my crappy laptop. It was then I got the idea to emulate Final Fantasy VI this way so that I could finally finish it. I already owned the game so I felt less guilty for doing so. Finally I could get past the world of ruin and confront Kefka in his tower!
My laptop decided to die on me and take everything with it. Are you kidding me! Is this game cursed or something!? I’m almost convinced that no one has actually beaten this game. I did not try to emulate it again since the ROM site I had used shut down and I did not want to risk getting viruses on my new laptop. So years pass since the last time I attempted playing the game. There was the Steam version of the game, but I would rather sell my soul than play that version.
I would not test the game again until the Super Nintendo Classic was released. Loaded on the device was Final Fantasy VI (Final Fantasy III in the U.S). There it was. Right there in front of me in a playable state, but I couldn’t do it. If I was going to play and finish this game, it was going to be the copy that I have had the longest. I decided then that I would attempt it again to beat the game. I tried to get my wife to play along with me since we were doing a thing were we would play the same game side-by-side. She attempted to play it once, got as far as the first split and gave up (I still love her). To her advantage, she had never played a game using the Super Nintendo controller and it was weird for her. I thought a good remedy for this was to get the Final Fantasy Anthology for her to play on the Playstation, but her interest faded a long time ago (I played Kingdom Hearts 2 for you!!!). Back on topic, with this being a solo show I decided to go an extra step in the experience.
Introducing the Gamecube Gameboy Player! I always wanted this accessory when it first came out, but finding the device and disk together these days can be hard and expensive. I lucked out by obtaining both from an online store that I frequent for less than $100 USD. The game plan was to play the game using this and never eject the cartridge until I had beat the game. A noble plan. I was surprise to find my data from the last time I played still there when I started the game. I decided why not since it was not too far into the game. Upon playing the game on my 32′ HD TV, I knew the quality wouldn’t be the prettiest, but darn it I am playing this game. Halfway into the game I came across something that I did not know I had the tools to. I had bought a VGA to HDMI converter two years back and completely forgot about it. What I didn’t know however was that it was an upscaler and I could connect it to my Elgato HD60 S (finally an excuse to finally use it!). A tweak and two there voila! I can now record my footage and get video evidence that I have beaten this game legitimately!
This is a long post (not as long as part II) and I haven’t even started to talk about my thoughts on the game. There will be a second part to this post that goes into my thoughts and stats while playing the game. It will go up at the same time as this one so no having to wait! I am so happy that I could finally finish this game that I had to share the adventure that me and this game have had up to this point.
Thank you for reading and I hope you also read Part 2!
I also started Final Fantasy VI a few times, each time getting slightly further. Eventually I finished it, the first few times I was less than half way, but after a certain cataclysmic event on my last playthrough I ended up finishing it in a rush to gather everyone and find out what happens next.