It is the sixth main entry in the Final Fantasy series, and the first to be directed by someone other than series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi; the role was instead filled by Yoshinori Kitase and Hiroyuki Ito. The narrative deals with the themes of a rebellion against an immoral military dictatorship, pursuit of a magical arms race, use of chemical weapons in warfare, depictions of violent and apocalyptic confrontations, several personal redemption arcs, teenage pregnancy, and the renewal of hope and life itself. Final Fantasy VI received widespread critical acclaim, particularly for its graphics, soundtrack, story, characters, setting, and mature themes, and won numerous awards. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time, and is often cited as a watershed title for the role-playing genre. The game was a commercial success, with the Super NES and PlayStation versions selling over 3.48 million copies worldwide by 2003, as well as over 750,000 copies as part of the Japanese Final Fantasy Collection and the North American Final Fantasy Anthology. It was ported by Tose with minor differences to the PlayStation in 1999, and the Game Boy Advance in 2006. However, later localizations typically use the original title. Like previous Final Fantasy installments, Final Fantasy VI consists of four basic modes of gameplay: an overworld map, town and dungeon field maps, a battle screen, and a menu screen. The overworld map is a scaled-down version of the game's fictional world, which the player uses to direct characters to various locations. As with most games in the series, the three primary means of travel across the overworld are by foot, chocobo, and airship. The menu screen is where the player makes such decisions as which characters will be in the traveling party, which equipment they wield, the magic they learn, and the configuration of the gameplay. Dungeons may feature puzzles and mazes, with some dungeons requiring the player to divide the characters into multiple parties which must work together to advance through the dungeon. Combat in Final Fantasy VI is menu-based, in which the player selects an action from a list of such options as Fight, Magic, and Item. By comparison, Relics have a variety of uses and effects, are almost entirely interchangeable among party members, and are extended in sophistication to alter basic battle commands and exceed normal limitations of the game's systems. Although in Final Fantasy VI only two playable characters start the game with the ability to use magic, magic may later be taught to almost all other playable characters through the game's introduction of magicite and the Espers that magicite shards contain. "Espers" are the game's incarnation of the series' trope of "summons", powerful monstrous beings, many of which are recurring throughout the series, such as Ifrit, Shiva, Bahamut and Odin.
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