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Locke: Central Character or Extraneous Addition?

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Locke: Central Character or Extraneous Addition?

Post by imported_Kaeru 7 » Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:09 pm

Last night I was reading a FAQ on Final Fantasy VI, which can be found here. It was pretty much your standard FAQ, until I reached the end. Someone e-mailed the writer asking who the main character of the game is. I've always considered this game to be quite unique in that aspect--I don't believe there is a main character. Instead of having one main figure, the plot revolves around a group of core characters. In my opinion, these included Terra, Locke, Celes, etc. However, this person protests that Locke is a main character, among other things:
There isn't one. This is evident by how the game is designed in which you do not follow the viewpoint of a central focal character.

However, there are characters of varying importance, and in this realm, Terra trumps all. She is integral to the overall story plot and in the greater scheme of things, is the central axis the story pivots around. Even if you go out of your way to avoid recruiting her in the World of Ruin, she still flies to Kefka's Tower at the end to be part of the ending.

Though, many people may use this as an argument to her being the main character, this is invalid. Again, there is no character that the game uses as a looking glass for the gamer, so to speak. This is an RPG, a role-playing game, yet there is no role the player is supposed to take. There's just the story that unfolds.

Others will argue that Celes is as important as Terra. This is based, primarily because she starts the World of Ruin. Of course, they fail to realize that this is because she is the only one it could have started with.

At the end of the World of Balance, she has absolutely no connections. Everyone else has a purpose they are filling. Terra has found her home with the Mobliz kids. Locke is looking for the Phoenix Esper. Edgar is trying to take control of Figaro. Setzer is getting drunk near Darill's tomb (as morbid as that might be). Shadow's getting beaten up by a Behemoth. Strago has been cult-mind-controlled. Relm is at Jidoor painting. Cyan is writing love letters. Gau and Mog are... well, Gau and Mog, they don't matter. Celes is the only one who could be so perfectly suited for the task of rounding everyone up. The only other character that had no goal (at the moment) was Sabin, and his story role is bare minimal, at best.

Others argue that Locke is the most important. This is possibly the single most ridiculous argument yet, because it has no base. Locke is not integral to the story. His personal battle centers around his past with Rachel, not the overall battle they are all fighting. In that respect, characters like Strago are more important to the story. At least Strago is a mage warrior from Thamasa, whereas Locke has no connection to the overall story other than he wants to fight the good fight.

And should you find someone who is arguing that Locke (or Edgar for that matter) is the most important character, you'll find they have no valid reasoning (because there is no valid argument). You will also find that they base this reasoning on the fact that Locke (Edgar) is a guy so they have to be the main character. Regardless of whether they say it out loud or not, you can tell it is what they are thinking. And anyone with half a brain can figure out how ridiculous that "argument" is.
He definitely raises some valid and interesting points. First off, I agree with him on the fact that there is no main character. Like he said, the story is told from multiple viewpoints. It starts off with Terra's viewpoint until she flies to Zozo, at which point no charcater takes the spotlight. It shifts to Locke/Celes when they travel to the Magitek factory, and then shifting back to Terra when they "revive" her. It stays this way up until Thamasa, where Shadow/Strago/Relm serve the most important role. Finally, Celes once again takes center stage at the beginning of the World of Ruin--but this is diminished once you rescue everyone.

Anyways, I've always considered Locke to be the most important character of FF6, barring Terra and Celes. But when you think about it, he's right--Locke serves no purpose to the central plot of the game, instead providing a rather interesting side-story. In that respect, he's about as important to the story as Shadow. Actually, less important. At least Shadow saves the world. Without him, Kefka would have killed everyone on the Floating Continent. Locke's importance ges as far as saving Terra from Narshe's guards at the beginning of the game.

But still... imagining a Final Fantasy VI without Locke... it's just not right. I'd analyze some other stuff he mentioned in his explanation, but I'll save that until later. Anyways, I'm just wondering what everyone else thinks about this. Post your thoughts.

[ February 23, 2004, 12:33 AM: Message edited by: Kaeru 7 ]
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Post by AJ Middleton » Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:25 pm

For some reason that article really offended me, maybe because it totally schmacked Edgar and Mog, my two faves. But it seems very ignorant. FF3 HAS no main character for the whole story. Besides the secret characters, EVERYONE has a part in the plot. Everyone gets their own chunk. Everyone moves the story a little bit.

Half a brain my arse...idiot.

I think of FF3 having a composite plot. You can easily assign each mission to a character or two. Terra may have most of the focus for the WoB, but everyone is still important somehow.

That guy is assuming way too much and obviously has his biases. I need to email him...

[ February 21, 2004, 03:28 PM: Message edited by: Sir Bolt ]

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Post by AJ Middleton » Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:31 pm

^No! It's the dying soldier in Mobliz!

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Post by Marioman143 » Sat Feb 21, 2004 5:37 pm

????
I always thought the main characters were Wedge and Biggs.

Seriously though, FF3 is meant to be told from all the different perspectives. It would be pointless to be Terra the whole game, or Celes the whole game etc. You had to be all of them to get the whole story of the game.

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Post by Wyborn » Sat Feb 21, 2004 10:22 pm

In terms of importance, none of the PCs are the main character. When it comes to a character being the center of all important events...the only actual "main" character is Kefka.

This obviously isn't the case.

There is no main character in FF6 (again, barring Kefka). However, if we were to take one, Locke would weigh in just as heavily as Celes or Terra, because though he doesn't do anything "important" past saving Terra's life, he's an integral part of the story on the whole.

Locke remains a central character throughout the entire story, even when he doesn't do anything "major". He's the one who saves Terra's life, as said before, and without him there would not have been a game. He's the one who convinces Celes to fight with the Returners, he's the one who contacts Edgar so he can join the Returners...the three most important characters in the game right there only join as a result of Locke's actions. Not to mention that a huge part of the World of Ruin - basically everything having to do with Celes - is built around her romance with Locke. Celes' main driving force in going in search of the others in the first place is finding Locke's bandana, and that may damn well be the most important moment in the game. Indirectly, Locke is responsible for all of the events in the World of Ruin happening at all.

In terms of importance, Locke is hardly what one would call insignificant. In terms of being in the spotlight, he does this a LOT - though he's undoubteldy the most "normal" character of them all (he's just a thief...not a great swordsman, or a prince, or a martial artist, or some magical knight or godlike being...just a thief), he does important thigns all the time. I read that article abotu eight months ago, I think - I thought the guy was on crack then and I still think he is, especially with how he cites Terra as being at the forefront of the story all the time.

Anyway, yeah. If there is a main character it's Kefka. Just because that's true, however, doesn't mean that everyone else - least of all someone like Locke - should be excluded from candidacy for that lofty position.
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Post by AJ Middleton » Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:53 am

Even Gau has a place in the moving story.

If my memory was refreshed, I could probably assign each chapter of the game to a character. This is because FF3 is about a bunch of random people saving the world. Seriously. The plot is comprised of everyone's life.

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Post by Falco53 » Sun Feb 22, 2004 3:06 pm

I'd say I agree with the article. Sure, Locke is a central character, a very cool one at that, but he could have been replaced by another character fairly easily. His conflict had nothing to do with the main plot, as it has been said before.
</font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">Originally posted by Captain Carter:
<strong> Oh yes, and the fact you used a Strong Bad quote gives you so much more credibility .
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">

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Post by AJ Middleton » Sun Feb 22, 2004 5:03 pm

^I disgree. Kefka is ALWAYS present.
Originally posted by Falco53:
I'd say I agree with the article. Sure, Locke is a central character, a very cool one at that, but he could have been replaced by another character fairly easily. His conflict had nothing to do with the main plot, as it has been said before.
What? In that case everyone could be replaced by someone else. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

FF3's main plot: A bunch of random people saving the world.

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Post by Falco53 » Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:45 pm

Originally posted by Sir Bolt:
1)^I disgree. Kefka is ALWAYS present.

2) What? In that case everyone could be replaced by someone else. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

3) FF3's main plot: A bunch of random people saving the world.
1) I'm not sure what you mean by that.

2) Um, no. As it has been said before, a lot of the characters actually have something to do with the plot. Terra, Celes, Edgar, Strago, and Cyan are all fighting the Empire for a reason. Andy's reason for fighting the Empire is that they are bad and he is good. The conflicts of many other characters actually have to do with the story.

3) That is how it is for pretty much every RPG, or game for that matter.
</font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">Originally posted by Captain Carter:
<strong> Oh yes, and the fact you used a Strong Bad quote gives you so much more credibility .
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">

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Post by AJ Middleton » Mon Feb 23, 2004 5:51 pm

1) Kefka is always there. Even when he isn't physically present, you always keep in mind that he's the one who threw the world into ruin.

2) Andy? Uhh...
Look, FF3 is a character driven story. It wouldn't be as it was unless every person threw his or her 2 cents in. On the same note, everyone is unimportant at some part too. Compare it to Chrono Cross. There are tons of characters in that game who truly don't matter because they contribute zero to the story. In contrast, every non-secret character in FF3 moves the plot ahead.

3) Not true. Most games have a main character who has some connection with the main enemy (ex: Cloud and Sephiroth.) Either that, or some mighty force makes "the chosen" go on the adventure (ex: Chrono Trigger.) FF3 is literally a bunch of people who start out rebelling against the Empire but end up with the world in their hands.

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Post by Falco53 » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:34 pm

Originally posted by Sir Bolt:
1) Kefka is always there. Even when he isn't physically present, you always keep in mind that he's the one who threw the world into ruin.

2) Not true. Most games have a main character who has some connection with the main enemy (ex: Cloud and Sephiroth.) Either that, or some mighty force makes "the chosen" go on the adventure (ex: Chrono Trigger.) FF3 is literally a bunch of people who start out rebelling against the Empire but end up with the world in their hands.
1) Not in the first half of the game, which is the longer half.

2) Celes, Cyan, and Terra have connections to Kefka and the Empire. Duh. What is important is why the group is rebelling. Terra was used by Kefka and Emperor as a biological weapon. Celes is a former subordinate of the Emperor. Cyan's family and king were killed by Kefka and the Empire. "The Chosen" thing is pretty random, wouldn't you say?

Kefka really had very little development (not to say he wasn't a great villain). Why did he hate mankind? How did a schmuck like him wind up as the Emperor's right-hand man? We know next to nothing about Kefka. He was just a crazy guy that wants to kill everyone, like El-Guapo from The Three Amigos, but he played it well.
</font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">Originally posted by Captain Carter:
<strong> Oh yes, and the fact you used a Strong Bad quote gives you so much more credibility .
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">

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Post by AJ Middleton » Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:56 pm

Kefka is physically present for the first half. The invasion of Figaro, the killing of Cyan's kingdom, the abuse of the Espers, the crane battle, raising the floating continent...how can you say he's not around for it?

The only true people with Emperial ties are Terra and Celes. Everyone else is a general rebel.

And the chosen thing is not random. It's the case in most RPGs.

Oh, Kefka is an excellent villian. But to understand him you can't just take in what the game gives you.

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Post by Falco53 » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:07 pm

Originally posted by Sir Bolt:
1) Kefka is physically present for the first half. The invasion of Figaro, the killing of Cyan's kingdom, the abuse of the Espers, the crane battle, raising the floating continent...how can you say he's not around for it?

2) The only true people with Emperial ties are Terra and Celes. Everyone else is a general rebel.

3) And the chosen thing is not random. It's the case in most RPGs.

4) Oh, Kefka is an excellent villian. But to understand him you can't just take in what the game gives you.
1) He's not around for everything in-between. Gestahl was also responsible for some baddy-bad stuff.

2) What Tonberry2k said. Plus Cyan had a link to Kefka. After the WoB the true battle is discovered to be not against the Empire, but Kefka. Strago and Relm have their place in the story because of what their ancestors did to the Espers. Shadow has more depth than Locke.

3) How can you say it's not? In most cases, it's just: "The four warriors will come and save the world. Blah blah blah." Then the main character meets up with three other warriors. In Chrono Trigger you meet up with random people through time.

4) You must extrapolate. Who is to say their extrapolation is better than another's?
</font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">Originally posted by Captain Carter:
<strong> Oh yes, and the fact you used a Strong Bad quote gives you so much more credibility .
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif\">

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