Final Fantasy VI/Characters/Terra Branford

Terra Branford, originally known in Japan as Tina Branford (ティナ・ブランフォード, Tina Buranfōdo), is the heroine of Square Co., Ltd.'s console role-playing game Final Fantasy VI (known as Final Fantasy III in the original North American release for Super Nintendo). She is a girl of mysterious origins born with powers of magic long thought lost. She is the first playable character in the game, and plays a central role in the first half of the game's story. Outside of this core role she also makes an appearance in Secret of Evermore, in which she is a member of the audience in the Nobilia coliseum.

Artwork from Final Fantasy VI
  • Class: Magic Fighter
  • Skill: Morph
  • Special Attack: Riot Blade
  • Special Attack type: Desperation Attack
  • Age: 18
  • Height: 5'7" (170 cm)
  • Weight: 105 lb (48 kg)

Character designEdit

Although Yoshitaka Amano designed Terra with blond hair, the hair color was changed to green in the game itself. Amano has stated in an interview that Terra was his favorite character to design.[1]

Terra's name in the Japanese version was Tina. When completing the North American English localization, Ted Woolsey did not think that sounded exotic enough and changed it to Terra.[2]

BiographyEdit

File:Terra -- Crown, Far.jpg
A CG rendered image of Terra from Final Fantasy Anthology

Terra is the daughter of the Esper Maduin and a human mother, Madeline, who, disgusted with the world of humans, wandered to the Esper world. Her heritage as a magical being is the source of her powers. She has natural fire- and curative-magic alignment. Much of the turmoil involved with her stems from the dichotomy of her origins. She is neither fully human nor fully esper and therefore, though she can identify with both groups, she does not "belong" in either.

From a young age, Terra is raised by the Empire as a soldier after the Empire, including Emperor Gestahl himself, attacked the Espers' and captured several of the magical beings, including Maduin. Her potential was quickly realized and she's said to have once destroyed fifty Imperial soldiers in an exercise[3].

When the game begins, Terra is wearing a Slave Crown, suppressing her free will and giving the Empire absolute control over her[4]. An encounter in the mines of Narshe with a frozen Esper, later identified as Valigarmanda, frees her of the Slave Crown, and leaves her free, but suffering from amnesia. Thus Terra is left a confused young woman who bears inhuman powers of unknown origin and is a much-desired asset for wars she knows nothing about.[5]

After this encounter, Terra is rescued by the Returners, an underground anti-Empire resistance movement, and eventually makes her way to join them. Agreeing to help the Returners in the hopes she might begin to better understand her own powers, this eventually leads to another confrontation with the Esper Valigarmanda (see below for more information), and first awakens Terra's dormant Esper-half. However, her transformation frightens her so badly, she screams and flies away out of terror. She is tracked to the town of Zozo, where an Esper named Ramuh says she is neither Esper nor human[6].After a trip to Vector to rescue more Espers, Terra’s true origin as a half-human/half-Esper is clarified. At this point, Terra is trusted with opening the Sealed Gate to the Esper World, and bringing peace with the Espers that come from within.

Terra succeeds in opening the Sealed Gate, however, in doing so, she releases a group of Espers who enact their revenge by going on a rampage and destroying the Imperial capital of Vector. At this point, the Returners have a banquet with Gestahl, who seemingly desires an end to the war. Gestahl asks Terra to deliver his offering of peace to the Espers, and she agrees. However, she eventually finds out that the peace was a scheme by Kefka and Gestahl to kill the Espers, and obtain Magicite, their magically infused remains[7].

Terra, after falling from the destroyed Blackjack, is found in the World of Ruin among the ruins of Mobliz. The adults of the town died protecting their children, and Terra now cares for them. Previously, Terra had a long talk with General Leo about her desire to be loved[8], and it is speculated (and later proved)[9] that she finds this unconditional love with the children. Due to this love, she defends them from the occasional attack by Humbaba, but her fighting skills have begun to slip, and thus, she refuses to join the party on the grounds she can no longer fight[10]. Later, Humbaba attacks again, and Terra begs the party to fight in her place. After Humbaba uses an attack called Humbaba Breath to chase away two party members, Terra rushes to the scene, transforming into her Esper form. With Terra's help, Humbaba is vanquished once and for all. In the aftermath, the children of Mobliz are terrified of Terra, but after a moment, recognize her as their 'Mama'[11]. Terra decides to join the fight against Kekfa to ensure the children can grow up in a peaceful world[12].

In the final credits, the destruction of the Warring Triad and Kefka causes Espers and magic to disappear from the world. Consequently, Terra also begins to lose her Esper powers. However, the Magicite of her father Maduin says that if her human side has a strong connection to some part of the human world, Terra will be able to survive as a human[13]. Terra uses the last of her strength to lead the party to safety in the airship, and then flies out of the tower. As her power finally fades, she falls from the sky, but Setzer pilots the ship into a dive and catches her. Terra awakens aboard the airship, alive and fully human, due to her love for the children of Mobliz and her care for Katarin, who goes into labor while Terra is fading. It should be noted that, even if the player decides not to recruit Terra, she flies to Kefka's Tower to help the party escape anyway.

AbilitiesEdit

MorphEdit

Later contact with the esper Tritoch brought Terra's quest for identity to an abrupt end as she turned into her hitherto unknown half-Esper form: a flying, glowing pink figure with wild hair. The experience also temporarily sent her into shock, but after recovering her senses, she discovered she had the power to alternate between her human and Esper forms. The player is henceforth able to access her Morph command in battle. When in Esper form, Terra's physical and magical power and magic defense all double; she can only retain this form for a short period of time, however (determined by the number of "Magic Points" accumulated so far by the party), and is subsequently unable to utilize her Morph ability again for a substantial interim. Hence, this command is best used only in dire circumstances.

MagitekEdit

Due to her training as a Magitek soldier, Terra's Magitek command, which is only available during the game's introduction and Cyan's dream when Terra is piloting Magitek Armor, gives her access to several actions normal Magitek knights cannot use.

Natural MagicEdit

Due to Terra's esper ancestry, she is able to learn magic without the aid of magicite. Many of her spells are fire-based.

TriviaEdit

  • Terra is named after the Roman goddess of the earth.
  • Terra's birthday is October 18.
  • Terra's name in the Japanese version was Tina. Ted Woolsey did not think that sounded exotic enough and changed it to Terra.[14]
  • Terra makes an appearance in Secret of Evermore, in which she is a member of the audience in the Nobilia coliseum.

ReferencesEdit

  1. James Mielke (2006). "A day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Yoshitaka Amano". 1UP.com. http://www.1up.com/do/feature?pager.offset=4&cId=3152237. Retrieved 9 August 2006. 
  2. "Bob Rork Woolsey Interview". Chrono Compendium. 1997. http://www.chronocompendium.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bob_Rork_Woolsey_Interview. Retrieved 2006. 
  3. Vicks: "And this woman...this...sorceress...why is she here? I heard she fried fifty of our Magitek Armored soldiers in under three minutes!"(Final Fantasy VI)
  4. Arvis: "Easy, it was a Slave Crown. The others had complete control over you while you were wearing it."(Final Fantasy VI)
  5. Edgar: "Banon! She doesn't remember ANYTHING!"(Final Fantasy VI)
  6. Ramuh: "No, actually, Terra is quite different."(Final Fantasy VI)
  7. Gestahl: "My only purpose was to acquire Magicite, and grow powerful."(Final Fantasy VI)
  8. Terra: "But, I want to know what love is, NOW!"(Final Fantasy VI)
  9. Terra: "Finally, I understand that feeling, even though I kept it buried for so long. I'm sure it's called... 'Love!'"(Final Fantasy VI)
  10. Terra: "Ever since I arrived here, I discovered a new part of me that I cannot understand. And the more I try to understand it, the less inclined I am to fight."(Final Fantasy VI)
  11. Girl in Mobliz: "Mama, it's you isn't it. I can tell!"(Final Fantasy VI)
  12. Terra: "I'm sorry, children, but your "Mama" has to go away for a while. I'll return when I feel your future's guaranteed!"(Final Fantasy VI)
  13. Maduin: "Terra...We must part now. We espers will disappear from this world...forever. But if the human part of you is very strongly attached to something or someone...You will probably be able to remain in this world as a human being..."(Final Fantasy VI)
  14. "Bob Rork Woolsey Interview". Chrono Compendium. 1997. http://www.chronocompendium.com/wiki/index.php?title=Bob_Rork_Woolsey_Interview. Retrieved 2006.