As they always say when it comes to gaming on the PC, if something is broke – PC gamers can fix it. One of the problems with that saying in recent years, however, is that many games are being made (either purposefully or through sloppy coding) hard to modify. Such was the case with the recently launched PC version of Final Fantasy VI that was released via Steam, which, among other things, had longtime fans upset over its updated visuals.
Modder Jed Lang, who wanted to make the game code pliable to other users, has created a tool that allows for modifying of Final Fantasy VI called FFVI_Explore. This tool’s ability to extract the compressed game files managed to reveal the surprising fact that an intact ROM of the Gameboy Advance Final Fantasy VI exists within the Steam version’s install:
- “Final Fantasy VI is sort of unique compared to the other Final Fantasys on Steam,” said modder Christopher Cooper, who goes by the handle Krisan Thyme online. “Square actually have a copy of the original Final Fantasy VI inside the Steam release of Final Fantasy VI, and what they do is reference the original copy as a database to pull information such as cutscenes, where sprites are located, how the map is constructed, item stats, AI. It references all the stuff out of the original game, pulls it out, and constructs it in the new engine. It’s pretty cool stuff, honestly. From a programming perspective it’s a really clever solution to remastering the game, as opposed to remaking everything from the ground up. They just take the data from the old version, and render it out in a supposedly prettier way.”
As you can imagine, a mod is already in progress which adds back in the original 16bit sprites. Though it’s a work in progress, you can follow it through its Steam group. There is also a devoted Final Fantasy VI modding group as well.
New releases of FFVI_Explore are announced via Lang’s Twitter account, such as the newest version, which was introduced a week ago.