Final Fantasy VI Advance: The censored director’s cut edition

By Spencer . February 8, 2007 . 7:23pm

The “new” translation for Final Fantasy VI Advance is really a mixed bag. On one hand this is the only version of Final Fantasy VI (aka III US) that has the correct Esper names, Cait Sith instead of Stray and Carbuncle is properly spelled out instead of being crunched together to Carbunkl. The abilities are properly translated too. Instead of “Fire Dance” Sabin’s fourth blitz is called “Rising Phoenix” and Cyan’s swordtechs bushido retain their original names, sky, tiger and so forth. Enemies have been updated with new names too “Rock Hornet” instead of “Mind Candy” and the TunnelArmr is called Tunnel Armor. Even “death” has been given the green light, but while the menus look better the story has been toned down.

 

 

 

One major example is how we meet Celes. The scene from the original game is pictured above where Celes is chained to the wall for being a traitor. One of the lesser guards roughs her up and then Locke comes in to rescue her after she falls to the floor. In Final Fantasy VI Advance her chains are gone and no one hits Celes. Instead she falls to the ground when Locke comes in. It’s sort of like the whole “Han shoots first” thing in Star Wars. In one version Han is portrayed as a bad ass smuggler and in the other well he’s not. In the Advance version of Final Fantasy VI, Celes comes off as weak and whiny because she falls down for absolutely no reason. Also Locke doesn’t come off as much of a “hero” as he does when he steps in to pick up Celes. Speaking of Locke and Celes, the opera scene Final Fantasy VI Advance forces their romantic relationship forward rather than leaving it ambiguous like in the original game. When Locke meets Celes in the dressing room Celes asks, “Why did you help me back there” and in the original game he replies “I once abandoned someone when she needed me”. In Final Fantasy VI Advance he replies, “because I’m tired of standing by and doing nothing while I lose the girls I like.” Pretty much spelling out that he has a thing for Celes and that he’s done this many times before. The original translation gives time for their relationship to grow, which makes sense because they just met and it also emphasizes his devotion to Rachel. Then at the end of the opera Locke says “Celes you’re wonderful” compared to “Well done Celes” in the original. The first quote once again makes it clear that Locke is into Celes while in the original Locke is saying good job at pretending to be Maria.

 

To be fair the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VI Advance cut out the scene with Celes being punched and chained to the wall to be sensitive about kidnapping concerns in Japan. Still the scene could have been added back in the USA version, after all it’s in the KA rated Final Fantasy III for SNES. Strangely, nothing was omitted when Setzer kidnaps Celes and holds her hostage in either version. Instead Final Fantasy VI Advance changes how the audience perceives Setzer. In Final Fantasy III it isn’t clear that he is a hero. Locke calls him a “notorious” gambler in III and in VI Advance Locke calls him the “greatest” gambler. Also FFVI Advance removes the fact that he was working with the empire. Setzer says “the empire’s made me a rich man” in III and in VI Advance he says “the empire has been bad for business.” In the original translation the party has to convince Setzer why the empire is wrong and you can see him change his mind when he says, “the empire… evil?” That part is totally lost in Final Fantasy VI Advance and Setzer seems more like a vagabond than a shady character who becomes a hero.

 

Also the language in the game has been toned down and maybe this was to make sure Final Fantasy VI Advance got an E10 rating instead of a T rating. When Shadow is hanging out in South Figaro you could approach him and Edgar makes a bold statement about him when he says, “That’s Shadow! He’d slit his mama’s throat for a nickel!” This has been changed to he would kill his best friend for money. Another example of toning down is when a merchant calls Locke a thief in the original game Locke shouts back, “Hey! Call me a Treasure Hunter, or I’ll rip your lungs out!” In Final Fantasy VI Advance Locke calmly says “Oh now that was just plain rude. I’m a treasure hunter and don’t you forget it.”

 

While the new translation gets some things right, like renaming and clarifying that you need to find an aristocrat in Jidoor it changes how the main cast is perceived. I’m not sure which one I like more because I haven’t completed VI Advance, but I am dreading to see what is going to happen to Celes’ suicide scene. The way things are going she’s going to ride a magical rainbow to safety.


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  • idolmaster

    learn japanese and play it in it’s original non-gay format then

  • Zippedpinhead

    I would just be happy with the original Woolsey translation.

    All you haters, well this is what you get for all that complaining.

    FFVI, except without the heart.

  • Roli O.

    You’re right. Whenever I came to that scene with Locke and Celes meeting for the first time, the magic of the SNES version was very nonexistent in that scene. I felt as if there was no connection at all, and the original translation was so much better.

    I hope, too, Celes’ suicide scene retains its original fame…if not, then oh god.

  • beigean

    It’s just like FFIV Advance. They got rid of some of the awkward lines, but in the process they removed the good lines and added in some new awkward lines. Geniuses.

  • FSUddin

    thanks for the spoiler at the end…

  • jd

    @FSUddin… This game has been re-released at least twice… It’s like me telling you Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father… :roll:

  • the_importer

    Hey FSUddin, want me to spoil the ending of the Jesus Christ movie :P

  • Veilknight

    So in exchange for more accurate name choices, we end up with a butchered translation of FFVI Advance’s main selling point: the plot itself.

    Personally, although there were a few things lost in translation for the SNES version (like the aforementioned Celes’ suicide scene) I wish Square-Enix had simply sticked with that script, as I thought it was fairly faithful as it is.

    At the very least, it’s certainly much better than getting struck with a rewrite that turns out even more censored than the original release.

  • Seif

    I tried posting a huge correction, but whoever greenlights posts didn’t see it fit enough to post.

  • Viewer

    Hi there. I’d like to give some insight, if I may.

    First off: the “Hey! Call me a Treasure Hunter, or I’ll rip your lungs out!” remark made by Locke is completely Woolsey’s creation: given Locke’s character up to that point (an otherwise controlled person with a Dark Secret), it seems rather harsh, and a bit out-of-character.

    The same applies for Edgar’s remark about Shadow. Saying he’d “slit his momma’s throat for a nickel”, while getting the point across that he’s a dangerous assassin willing to kill anyone for money, seemed a bit forced when trying to explain him. “Kill his best friend for money” sounds more natural, and also works to foreshadow his backstory, and the past that haunts him.

    Actually, Setzer’s remark about the Empire ‘being bad for business’ is completely true to the original. The original line was a mistranslation due to confusion between words–if you’re interested, you can check out the script as retranslated by Lina Darkstar, here:

    http://www.icyforums.com/index.php?showtopic=4401

    I apologize for my bluntness, but your review is heavily biased. It is based on Final Fantasy 3 for the SNES, and its corresponding translation, accurate or inaccurate as it may be. As such, you seem to have difficulty with such a “different” translation, and I understand that. But please, for the sake of all those who will read this review and for your own understanding, take the time to read through the thread listed above.

    For as much as you enjoy these characters, I hope this will help you enjoy them more. Thank you.

  • slimequest

    I don’t really understand it when I’m suddenly seeing a bunch of people complaining about censorship in the Celes meeting scene and/or her suicide scene. Is this what FFVI is about? Is the game really ruined by having these scenes changed? For the longest time I never knew they had been changed for our SNES version, but even after I did, it was more of an “oh, that’s interesting” reaction, not “THEY BUTCHERED OUR SACRED GAME!1″

    While I’m against censorship or changing things for no damn good reason (Cait Sith to Stray, for example), having Celes not get beat up by the Imperials really changes nothing. I think we can all deduce that they roughed her up and treated her pretty poorly, so nothing is truly lost, except some awkward sprite boxing.

    Although I hope her suicide scene is more intact, I honestly don’t care a whole lot because I always save Cid anyway so I never see it unless I’m feeling particularly lazy in trying to catch those good fish.

    Those two scenes are incredibly small and insignificant to the story of FFVI as a whole.

    • Ben

      I think the weird names for monsters, summons, spells, etc. in the SNES version were more for technical reasons; notice how there’s no esper name in the SNES game which has more than 8 characters in it. It’s likely space had to be saved, either visually for the GUI or for making the game structure work (maybe names were implemented with a huge array of char variables, with a different name every 8 elements of the array, or something like that). Considering there’s far more storage space on a GBA cart than an SNES one, this problem could hence be addressed.

      Cait Sith=9 characters (including the space), while Stray = 5, which is less than 8.
      Carbuncle= 9, while Carbunkl=8, which fits the implicit eight parameter.

      Just wanted to point out that there was a point to seemingly pointless changes.

  • Seif

    Well, calling Cait Sith ‘Stray’ wasn’t an arbitrary change. It was reduced to the the space constraints of the SNES.

  • slimequest

    Well, if they could have “Terrato” they could’ve made it “CaitSith” or something similar. Altering some things to fit the space (Fenix Down) while others are changed to something completely different still doesn’t make any sense to me.

  • Seif

    It’s not that they had only a certain amount per name, but they only had a certain amount of space over all. Some things had to be cut.

  • http://tallglass.blogspot.com/ andy

    i have to agree with Viewer. the post makes many references to what things were like “in the original version,” which i’m guessing refers to the first american release of final fantasy 6 (i.e. final fantasy 3), but wouldn’t it be better if the “original version” that this gba port is compared to is the original japanese version? do we know if the changes that the author disliked (comments made about shadow, by locke about celes, etc) were not in fact true to what occurs in the actual “original”? personally, i would be more interested in finding out if it is now closer to what the japanese developers had intended.

    of course, i also agree with slimequest. it sounds like these changes are small potatoes anyhow. i enjoy what this game does with its limited means (those of a 16-bit system), but i was not crying into my pillow over locke and celes’s unspoken love (i had always thot it was pretty obvious locke was into her anyhow), nor was i dazzled by setzer’s inevitable change of heart. my heart didn’t really drop until *spoiler for FSUddin* aeris was murdered by sephiroth.

  • ShoPao

    Hey guys, leave FSUddin alone. There are several very good reasons why people were unable to play FFVI before the GBA version.

    Speaking for myself:
    1) FF3 for the SNES was released at a time when SNES carts cost quite a bit of scratch. When I was 10, I sure didn’t have the dough to cough up for FF3, and I usually got 1-2 games a year (1 for Christmas, and 1 for my birthday), so if it came down to a choice between, say A Link to the Past or FF3… tough call.

    2) The PS1 rerelease was a terrible port overall. It didn’t help that the game loads 5-10 seconds, even when just opening the menu, leading to a degraded experience.

    3) The Wonderswan version (off which the PS version is based) is available only in Japanese, so playing that kind of defeats the purpose of waiting for an English version…

    So yeah, there were several opportunities to play FFVI before, but circumstances can lead to an inability to do so.

    For the record, no I did not know about Celes’ suicide scene (didn’t get that far into the game on the PS1 before I couldn’t take the loading anymore) and I was planning to get the GBA version to replay.

  • Viewer

    Okay, the suicide scene: first off, you’ll be happy to know that CELES does not ride a magical rainbow to safety. Secondly, she no longer takes a leap of faith, or says anything which does not imply complete dispondency and hopelessness.

  • Aoshi00

    This is a little late, just rec’d my copy of import FF VI and got to South Fiagro. For Shadow’s notoriety, it’s indeed “he would kill his best friend for money”, so I supposed this time around the translation is closer to the original Jpn version, while some liberty has been taken in “FF III”‘s localization on the SNES. So it’s actually more accurate instead of censored, hope this help clears things up.

  • Carmen

    Well whichever works better I guess. I mean these may be small scenes but in such a limited space as a game, in which characters only have a limited number of set dialogue, each line should be considered important as a way to learn more about the character’s personality and evolution. I mean, if this version is more accurate or whatever, thats one thing, but the truth is there is no such thing as an absolutly perfect translation anyway, so it might be preferable to go with the one that seems more natural, or is more enjoyable, whatever. I think its great that we in the US get two great retellings of one story.

  • Aoshi00

    Sure, often times changes need to be made to make things flow better. Just trying to clear up the fact that the new translation is definitely not censored or watered down as perceived by some before. It’s been ages since I played FF III on the SNES back in high school, and I didn’t know Jpn back then, I hope I would enjoy the game once more playing in Jpn this time around after a decade long.

  • tyrone2380

    I agree with most of these comments. However I don’t by the fact about it had to be cut for space meanings. They added new dungeon scenes. Also has anyone got to the part where you get the moogles friend the snowmonster I forget the name. I kept my origanal snes for the sake that one day I would play this game again. Also has the ending changed any has anyone got that far?? I always thought it was a little short. I also wanted the story to end with edgar finally finding his love… I guess I’m a hopeless romantic although I don’t like the final fantasy games where it becomes the main focus. This game truley is the best I remember trading all my games gameboy and snes so I would have enough to by the snes version. $92.00. I kept the origanal box and instruction manual as well as a official startagy guide. I truley wish that square would take into account that extreme graphics and amazing cutscenes aren’t always needed to have a great final fantasy game. If the story is good than it does not matter. I found myself searching for years afterwords for a game with the same cartoony graphics and charector attachment as I found with ff3. I still long for a story with the same charectors or new ones with a gripping story and good charectors. maybe one that starts off years after the ff3 cast conquers the empire. Whom ever wrote this story and I’m sure you guys know…I think we should flood the square soft feedback requesting a continued ff3 story. although it would have to be really good or it might ruin the ff3 memories. Maybe a new game with different charectors with the same graphics for the ds so the story could be long. Please square I’ve been waiting for so long. I loved the graphics of this game. If you want good graphics maybe just add them in the battle scenes when magic is used or when espers are called. I realize I’m ranting but I played the ff3 game so many times through I want something simular but different do I make sense?

  • Rebochan

    I think you should compare the cast to the Japanese script and not the Woolsey script. It’s pretty common knowledge that Woolsey translated fast and loose and much of the way the characters are remembered are not how they were depicted in Japan. What remains of the Woolsey script was retained less for accuracy and more because of nostalgia.

  • Mark

    They butchered my favorite line. After meeting Edgar in SNES Miss Branford says something like an ordinary girl would have fallen for him, but I’m hardly an ordinary girl. In advanced she says “Hmm… I suppose a normal girl would have felt something from those words. But…not me…” Urrrrrgh. Furthermore although most music was improved, they ruined the best song, the riding chocobo one. In fact no matter how I try do obtain the song for my ipod, its never as good as snes version

  • JOTARO

    Yeah, the Woolsey translation had some decent lines to spice up the story but some lines like the shadow one about nickel throat slitting took Shadow’s degree of badass to a new level. This could have been changed to more of a degree than the best friend line. Who cares if it was was a Woolsey creation, killing your best friend for a right price sounds lame because I bet you most of us would do something out of the ordinary– not necessarily extreme, for the right price. And anybody saying otherwise is full of crap. Locke’s situation was crappy in the gba remake because like most of you said, it left out the ambiguity.(spoiler) Locke doesn’t seem to really get over Rachel until the after the Phoenix scene. But for him yo hit on her in the wob is just stupid. These changes might take away form the story for those of us who just about memorized each line but FF 6 is great and always will be. Some versions are just better than others. My biggest complain was the music. Damn it all to hell!! Wtf!, the boss music was desecrated and other small changes to other songs made it seem like a crappy dj was messing it up. Dammit! It makes me explode into rage. For shame on the brilliant work of Nobuo Uematsu. All you people saying that you should play the old version and be quiet is just stupid. Most of us–at least me bought this game for the new dungeon and other new espers as well as a different replay value. This made me want to turn the volume down a lot and still angers me to this day. Anybody who wants to talk smack about the music being a lot better needs to listen to the sfc/snes version and then quietly shut up. Yes we wanted to try out the new stuff but we didn’t want to be disappointed about the classic either because of certain and sometimes drastic changes.

  • Precision Fury

    LOOK, I just bought FF I Anniversary Edition for the PSP and it is AWESOME. Actually makes me want to play this game again, I and II were crappy on the GBA. I am going to buy FF II Anniversary Edition also when it comes out in a few days. LOOK, they put a LOT of work into these versions and it SHOWS.

    NOW, the reason for my post… I want to see FF VI (III in U.S.), the SNES classic, Anniversary Edition for the PSP. That’s right, you heard me, FF VI Anniversary Edition.

    Can you even begin to imagine HOW COOL THAT WOULD BE!!?! … no, you CAN’T ! ! !

  • Harun

    Here is a more complete site for the FF6 transcript: :)
    http://www.parabox.or.jp/~takashin/ff6story-01.htm

  • Zair

    Wow, thanks for the Celes-related spoiler! =D

  • Joe

    Did anyone notice in the FFVI Advanced that there is a girl that runs into the pub in South Figaro after you talk to shadow, but she runs away when you try to approach her? I mean it could be nothing, but anyone know anything about that?

  • GarlandFraser

    Atleast In the Advanced version they confirmed that people ‘through themselves off the cliff in despair” when Cid was describing the events before Celes attempted suicide. In the SNES version Cid said something like ” When the villagers were sad, they held their breath and jumped off that cliff, that cheered them right up!” like it was a game or something…
    Locke saying that thing you described earlier just doesn’t seem his character anyway, and despite what you say, the American translation for the SNES is far more censored then this version, which is much more true to the Japanese version.

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