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Who’s the Star of ‘Final Fantasy VI’?



Being a franchise well-known for its strong characterization and enduring protagonists, the Final Fantasy series is home to some of the most memorable heroes in all of gaming. While Final Fantasy VI doesn’t buck this trend by any means, it does do something very different in that it allows three heroes to share the limelight as the main stars, rather than focusing on a single character.

With Terra Brandford, Locke Cole and Celes Chere all sharing top-billing for vast swathes of the game, Final Fantasy VI is the only mainline entry in the series that lacks a clear protagonist. So who is the main character of Final Fantasy VI? We aim to figure it out below.

Terra Branford

The first character that players take control of (during the legendary opening trek across the snowfields of Narshe), Terra Branford begins Final Fantasy VI as a slave to the empire. Restricted by a magitek circlet and confined to magitek armor, Terra exterminates the townsfolk of Narshe before regaining her sentience, thanks in part to Locke.

For the next 10 hours or so, Terra remains central to the game, always being at the forefront of the plot and remaining a leadership figure for the party members. However, after interacting with a frozen esper, Terra reveals her own esper powers, before transforming into a superhuman entity and flying off.

From this point, Terra disappears for a huge section of the game, forcing Locke to take on the role of the main character.  Still, in most Final Fantasy games, the first character you take control of is the central protagonist of the game. Furthermore, Terra is featured in the key art of Final Fantasy VI and serves as the hero from this story in Square’s Dissidia series. However, since the same series places Jecht as the main villain of Final Fantasy X over Seymour, that choice is suspect at best.

Locke Cole

Locke Cole, introduced early on in Final Fantasy VI, is the second party member to become available to players, and the character most similar to previous Final Fantasy protagonists. Taking control of the party to search for Terra after she disappears, Locke becomes a huge focal point for the storytelling of the game long before that.

The lynchpin behind many of Final Fantasy VI‘s main plot points and story developments, Locke is also the most like a typical fantasy protagonist in all forms of fiction. He wanders into the middle of a long-simmering conflict, not unlike Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins. Due to this happenstance, he becomes one of the most important figures in the battle to save the world from Gestahl, Kefka and the evil empire.

Though Terra does eventually rejoin the team, Locke still feels the most like the main character of Final Fantasy VI, at least until a certain monumental story development.

Celes Chere

Rescued from a cell by Locke in the first quarter of Final Fantasy VI, Celes Chere would be the least likely of this trio to be viewed as the main character, were it not for the final section of the game. After Kefka uses the statues of the Warring Triad to reshape the world, killing millions in the process, it is Celes who the player takes control of.

Though Celes is initially hopeless, and even suicidal, she eventually finds the courage to go out into the world of ruin and seek out her lost companions. This is the strongest section of the entire adventure, as all hope feels lost, and the challenges ahead appear to be truly insurmountable. Still Celes soldiers on, finding all 13 of her comrades at arms before heading off with them to destroy Kefka once and for all.

Since Celes is the leader at the end of the game, and the first character players take control of after the calamity, it seems like she has as much right to be called the main character of Final Fantasy VI as Terra or Locke. Finally, since her story is the emotional lynchpin of the last section of the game, she gains all the more importance in Final Fantasy VI, since Kefka may have never been defeated had she not reunited the scattered adventurers.

Which leads us back to the question at hand: who is the main star of Final Fantasy VI? With three different characters sharing top billing for large sections of the game, it’s hard to settle on anything resembling a definitive answer. While this writer’s vote settles on Celes generally, there’s certainly an argument to be made for any of the triumvirates at the center of Final Fantasy VI.

So what do you think? Sound off in the comments below: who is the main character of Final Fantasy VI?

Mike Worby is a human who spends way too much of his free time playing, writing and podcasting about pop culture. Through some miracle he's still able to function in society as if he were a regular person, and if there's hope for him, there's hope for everyone.



  1. Patrick Murphy

    June 30, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    I don’t actually think there is a main character to FFVI. You point out pretty well how the focus of the story shifts mostly among three people, but there are so many other weighty asides involving Cyan, Edgar, and Sabin that it’s hard to say that the overall experience revolves around anyone. I always think back on this as a true ensemble story, and that seems to be the point; the way the team comes together, finding each other and setting aside their personal struggles in order to work together, seems to be the most important arc.

    If you don’t buy that, then I’m voting for Terra.

    • Mike Worby

      June 30, 2019 at 5:27 pm

      This is certainly the only game in the series where an argument like this can be made, and you’re well within your rights to make it.

  2. Leslie

    May 10, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    There technically is no main character in FFVI, BUT I will state that the movie scenes give a hint as to who defeated Kefka once and for all. After completing the game in the Chronicles series, there is a set of movies that release to the player. One of which stars Celes Chere. In this movie, it shows her opera scenes, interaction with Locke, and her potential ties to Terra. At the very end of the video, it shows Kefka being defeated with the esper, Alexander. Alexander is found in Doma Castle, which Celes is entrusted with to save Cyan from his tortured self should he return to that tattered state. After Kefka is defeated, the movie returns back to Celes to where she was holding Locke’s bandana near the ocean. To me, that states that Celes was the main key to defeat Kefka and no one else would have been able to finish the task without her.

  3. Mike Steele

    March 18, 2021 at 6:13 am

    Of course Celese is the protagonist, the leading lady. It is clear that the antagonist is undeniably Kefka thus the foil to our villain is Celese. Our leading man is Locke with him being the love interest throughout the entire storyline. Terra is the plot device and serves as the eyes for the player to see the opposition of the current world they are in. It isnt hard to figure this out. By facts and not opinion Celese is the leading female protagonist and Locke is the male lead. Just like Ashe and Balthier , Zidane and Dagger, Cloud and Tifa, Yuna and Tidus. Cecil and Rosa. Its not hard to spot out the main party in FFVI for that matter either. Amongst the many characters of them all the primary party is Edgar, Sabin, Cyan, Setzer, Terra, Locke, and Celese. This is the main 7 man lineup Shadow can also be accepted as the 8th. As much as I love Cyan and Terra more the fact remains that the leads are Celese and Locke.

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