Part 48: Escape From South Figaro
This will be explained in better detail by my associate ElephantGun, but this guard has a fairly irregular way of patrolling.
Let's Break Final Fantasy VI!
Chapter 1: Escape from South Figaro
I apologize for the blurry screenshots. It's fixed after the 2nd update
Note that this updates contained Very, VERY slight spoilers
(And by that, I mean character sprites will be given away)
This guard in South Figaro is odd in that he patrols up and down, while the rest of the guards stay stationary. This is a perfect example to use one of Final Fantasy's most famous (and selectively useful) glitches.
If you approach this guard, or any NPC, in the opposite direction they are walking and attempt to land on the same tile they are as you open the Menu (press Y), holding up as you close the menu...
Occasionally, and very occasionally, both you and the guard will occupy the same tile! This allows the guard to continue his patrol (instead of the two of you just bumping heads) and proceed south, as you proceed north. You can exit the world map this way, continuing the game, keeping whatever fancy costume for Locke you want to take with you while leaving Celes to rot.
I'm unsure why this exactly works. I guess the closing/opening of menus still has NPCs moving as you're fading into existence. This can be done in any part of the game with moving NPCs, when you open the menu just hold the directional button towards the NPC.
As you can see, whatever costume you picked for Locke will stay on him on the World Map. Actually, this will be true for the rest of the game (for my knowledge, to be honest I have never proceeded into the WoR using this glitch, however sprite and palette changes persist to WoR for other characters so I assume it to be true for this as well). You can keep Locke as either a Merchant or a Green Empire Soldier in disguise.
Surprisingly, both of Locke's costumes are highly stable and last throughout the entire game. They don't really seem to have any graphical glitches associated with them, and can even ride the Chocobo's very safely without sprites getting mishmashed and contorted. The only exception is that in party screens; Locke as as a Green Guard will have his palette changed to that of Biggs and Wedge, so his face will appear slightly.... odd (for those unaware, facial portraits and character sprites share the same palette).
Continuing normally, you'd better pick up this Thudner Rod. If you don't, chances are without Celes you're going to die to the Tunnel Armor without some serious power leveling.
When approaching the exit to the cave, Kutan notices something's coming out of the wall! Whoever the hell that is.
In battle, a blank name will attempt to talk to Locke about the Runic skill. Celes isn't here to deliver lines, so it's just done by an anonymous blank name.
If you continue to the next sequence, you'll see that Celes has actually turned into a Moogle! Remember those Moogles that helped Locke protect Terra at the beginning of the game? Well, Celes turned into one of these. Kutan, to be exact. Well, this is only half-true. A more accurate description would be that Kutan never changed into Celes.
See, the game has a surprisingly high amount of "throw-away" characters. Characters that are there for a small sequence in the game, and then are never mentioned again. The game needs somewhere to store these characters due to size limitations on the SNES cartridge, and therefore need to overwrite character memory to do this. The trigger for the game to overwrite others is when you Rename someone. By skipping the mandatory renaming sequence the memory is never overwritten. In Celes's case, Kutan is overwritten by Celes when you rename her. Because you never do, the game never overwrites the memory, and therefore she stays as General Kutan, traitor to the Empire. Kutan and Celes, according to the game, are actually the same character due to the memory overwrite. For every sequence that Celes is in, she'll appear as Kutan. She'll express the same emotions, do the same movements as her, etc.
(poor screenshot of "CANT DO THAT" included)
Appearances are not all that is changed however. Stats, abilities, traits, level, all will be the same as Kutan (or whatever character wasn't overwritten). This means that Kutan cannot equip any equipment or relics, cannot learn magic, etc. He does gain experience and levels however. But, despite these limitations he does exist and is a permanent party member.
In battle, Kutan is pretty damn weak. But because he has no equipment...
Kutan is useless.
I can't show a screenshot because it would be spoilers, but there are cases where Kutan will have Celes's sprite. They seem to be random, but generally any area where the character acts as "scenery" and is not in party will have the normal sprite.
Celes is actually unique because she is one of the few characters with a forced sprite change. Later in the game, we'll come to a sequence known as the Opera House Scene where Celes's costume is changed, then changed back. Because the game says "Hey, swap her sprite with this one", then after it's done, "Hey, swap her back to Celes's sprite", her sprite will revert to normal. She is still General Kutan though.
We'll see this name skipping to avoid memory overwrite later on once we get access to another (very important) glitch. For those curious, here are the Moogles that are able to be seen by skipping certain character's renaming sequences. If characters are not listed here (as you'll see, most aren't), they are either unable to be figured out or I'm keeping them a secret until later glitches.
CELES = KUPAN
EDGAR = KUMAMA
SABIN = KUKU
CYAN = KUPEK
GAU = KURU
SETZER = KUSHU
Again, all of these Moogles ARE characters in the game. There are 14 characters in the game, and 3 of the characters are already assigned by the time you get to this point (them being Mog, Locke, and Terra). Since you fight with 10 Moogles, that means that there is 1 character that isn't a Moogle. By using the Game Genie, you can figure out that Umaro is another Mog Baron doesn't have a renaming sequence, so he is not a Moogle and is Baron by default.
But, let's say you want Locke's Costume but not Celes being a useless Moogle.
First thing's first. If you go in through the way you would normally exit South Figaro, you can backtrack to Celes. You could also just phase through the guard in the opposite direction, but this is just much easier.
Note that you kind of just phase through the bookcase if you come in through the back-way.
Not Seen: By inability to capture screenshots effectively. Just pretend I got Celes and ditched the Merchant costume, OK?
Anyways, proceeding out the normal way with Celes in your party you can phase through the guard from above, reentering South Figaro. You can then acquire a costume of your choosing with Celes still in your party.
Now, you could just phase on back, but that's kind of a pain. So, let's just walk out the way that is expected.
Instead off being prompted to change costumes, Celes tells us that we can't go that way. The trigger for this scene instead of "change costumes?" is Celes being in your party.
And with that, we're out of Figaro! We have Celes, and a special new sprite for Locke. Again, this will persist throughout the game and is very stable.
The only side effect is that it messes up Locke's palette in the character select screen.
I should also note that returning to the section where you rescue Celes if you never bothered will lock up the game. The reason is that after Locke's Scenario is over, the game assumes you have acquired Celes. But, you didn't. The trigger to play here scene still exists, but the trigger to remove the sprites from the area has already occurred. The game is trying to tell sprites where to move, what dialog to say, but because they don't actually exist anymore, the game will just become stuck and freeze.
Next Time: Let's Abuse the Hell out of Rages