|Final Fantasy character|
|First appearance||Final Fantasy VI (1994)|
|Designed by||Yoshitaka Amano|
Terra Branford, known as Tina Branford[a] in Japanese media, is a fictional character in the Final Fantasy series and the main protagonist of Final Fantasy VI. Yoshitaka Amano and Tetsuya Nomura designed Terra for the main series installment. Terra also appears in the spin-off fighting game series Dissidia Final Fantasy and the rhythm series Theatrhythm Final Fantasy. She has made small appearances in several other games in and outside the Final Fantasy series.
Terra is the daughter of a human mother and an Esper father, a magical creature with the natural ability to use powerful magic. Mentally enslaved by an evil empire known as the Gestahlian Empire, they used her gifted powers to wage war on the empire's neighboring countfies. several rebels have rescued her at the beginning of the game, she soon decides to aid their campaign against the Empire and protect the innocent of this world.
Initially planned to be a young man, developers designed her character to start as a passive person in the first half of the game to show her growth throughout the story. Terra's character has received positive critical reception, with game journalists and fans praising her complexity and unique backstory. She has been on many lists of gamers' favorite Final Fantasy characters and one of the most well-known video game characters to date, her theme song, "Terra's Theme" is listed as one of the greatest and most iconic theme songs in gaming.
Final Fantasy VI
Terra is the first introduced character, a mentally-enslaved Imperial super-soldier who possesses destructive magic. She is made to participate in an armored assault on the town of Narshe, exterminating most of the town's militia in pursuit of a recently unearthed magical creature which are known as Espers. Upon encountering the creature, her fellow soldiers are killed and her armor destroyed. She wakes up in the home of a man named Arvis, now free of her slave crown and suffering amnesia. Pursued into the depths of Narshe's mines by Imperial forces, the thief Locke and a horde of moogles eventually rescue her. After events in Figaro kingdom and another Imperial invasion on Narshe to claim the Esper, she learns she is the daughter of an Esper father and human mother, explaining her magical abilities. Having been previously brain-washed and extensively trained, Terra realizes she was instrumental in the Empire's conquest of the other city-states on the southern continent. She discovers that her power had caused the deaths of fifty Imperial troops in moments. Terra became a vital part of the revolutionary movement known as the "Returners", whose strategy was to try and ally with the Espers, who live beyond the sealed gate, against the Empire. Terra succeeded in opening the barrier between worlds and unleashed the Espers' upon on the Empire, leaving its capital in ruins.
In the games post-apocalyptic second half, Terra is found no longer wishing to fight. For the orphans of the town of Mobliz, she has become a mother figure. She fails to stop an attack on the town by a legendary demon known as Humbaba, requiring the players' party's intervention to drive it away. Returning to the village later, the player finds her ready to stand up against Humbaba. She joins the player to defeat it and vows to make the world safe for children. At the game's conclusion, Terra expects to fade from existence with the remaining Espers as magic leaves the world. Her father's spirit, however, tells her that she will not die because she is half-human.
Terra is the heroine representing Final Fantasy VI in Dissidia: Final Fantasy, a crossover fighting game featuring different characters from the Final Fantasy series. She returns in Dissidia 012: Final Fantasy as a member of the evil Chaos army, and also appears in the next game, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT with an alternate appearance featuring her green hair from Final Fantasy VI. Her character appears in the mobile title Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia.
Terra is a playable character in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Explorers, Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, and World of Final Fantasy, where she is voiced by Yukari Fukui. She is also one of the randomly purchasable "Premium" characters in Final Fantasy: All the Bravest and a collectible character in Final Fantasy Record Keeper as well as Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. Final Fantasy Tactics S briefly allowed Terra and other Final Fantasy characters to join their parties. Players can outfit their characters in Terras outfit in Gunslinger Stratos 2. Her character was included in the technical demo Final Fantasy VI: The Interactive CG Game. Merchandise items featuring the character such as gashapon figurines and full models have been produced.
Developers initially conceived of the character that would become Terra Branford as a half-esper young man in his early 20s. He was to be a partner and rival of the dark, mysterious Locke Cole. The character's design changed over time, however, to that of an eighteen-year-old half-esper female. Character designer Yoshitaka Amano initially created the concept art for Terra. Tetsuya Nomura, one of the game's graphic directors, redesigned her in chibi form for her representation in the game. The main difference between the two was her in-game appearance has green hair as opposed to her original blonde. In a 2006 interview, Amano stated that Terra was his favorite video game character to design. The developers intended for the game to have an ensemble cast with no unique protagonist. For this reason, the second half of the game opens with another character, Celes Chere, instead of Terra, who opened the first. Another reason for this shift is that the team wanted Terra's story arc to progress in a new direction after the first half. The game story made Terra a very passive character in the first half of the game to show her personal growth and strength as the story progressed. At the end of the game, Terra was initially going to die when magic left the world. However, the development team decided that this would be "excessive" as she had finally discovered her humanity and let her live without her magic powers.
Although the character's name is "Tina Branford" in Japanese media, American playtesters "hated the name Tina, almost to a person!", according to the game's translator Ted Woolsey. For this reason, Woolsey renamed the character "Terra" in the North American English version of the game. While acknowledging that some might dislike the name change, he noted that the games he worked on "were meant for a broader audience than the one which buys and plays Japanese imports", and those who know Japanese should play the original versions. In the game Dissidia Final Fantasy, Nomura chose Terra as the representative hero for Final Fantasy VI. He reasoned that without her, there would be no female hero character in the game's roster. Nomura stated that "based on [his] feelings" from Final Fantasy VI's production, he "thought it had to be Terra" as she appeared on the game's cover art and advertisements. Gameplay-wise, Terra is Nomura's favorite character in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
The character was very well received, especially among the Japanese fans of Final Fantasy. Though she does not form a couple with anyone in Final Fantasy VI, "Terra and Edgar" and "Terra and Locke" were popular fan wishes in polls of Japanese fans. That same year, she was ranked sixth in V Jump's poll for the most popular characters in the Final Fantasy series. A 2013 poll by Square Enix saw that Terra was the sixth most popular Final Fantasy female character in Japan. In an article about Dissidia Final Fantasy, IGN editor Ryan Clements called her one of the most recognizable and well-loved characters to fight against evil alongside other Final Fantasy protagonists.
In 1996, Next Generation chose the scene of Terra learning to love again by taking care of orphaned children as the most memorable moment in the Final Fantasy series, stating "It's safe to say that no other game series has tackled such big issues, or reached such a level of emotional complexity. It truly is beautiful." In 2013, Gus Turner of Complex ranked Terra as the fifth most significant Final Fantasy character of all time, calling her "a benchmark for all female protagonists in the series, made unique by the multi-dimensional aspects of her personality and backstory," and stating "what characters like Yuna and Aeris continued, Terra started." Also in 2013, Michael Rougeau, also of Complex, ranked her as the ninth most celebrated female lead character in video game history, calling her "one of the most compelling and complex heroines in gaming" and declaring her a much better female Final Fantasy protagonist than Final Fantasy XIII's Lightning. That same year, Tom's Guide’s Marshall Honorof included her among the top ten female protagonists in video game history. Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich listed her as one of "15 Kick-Ass Women in Videogames", asserting that "Going through a Django-like transformation from brain-washed slave to active hero, she's far more interesting than the simple Madonna-whore dichotomy of Final Fantasy VII's Aeris and Tifa." The book Japanese Culture Through Videogames addresses Terra as a complex fictional character, comparing her with Metal Gear's Solid Snake, Final Fantasy VII's Cloud Strife and Tekken's Jin Kazama due to her identity issues.
- Arvis: Easy, there! This is a slave crown. The others were using it to control you. It was robbing you of your thoughts – making it so you'd do whatever they told you. Girl: I can't remember a thing... Arvis: Don't worry. It'll all come back to you... In time, that is. Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Arvis: The city guard is pursuing her as we speak. This city has the strength to stand up to the Empire, but it won't use it. The people are just too stubbornly independent to join an underground resistance group like the Returners. I tried to explain that the Empire was controlling the girl, but they wouldn't even listen... Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Banon: Carrier pigeons have kept me informed. I also heard that she wiped out fifty Imperial soldiers in mere minutes... Terra: No, that's not...! Locke: Terra! Edgar: For heaven's sake, Banon! This girl doesn't remember anything! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Terra: I don't know why these kids need me... And it's not like there's anything forcing me to protect them. It's the strangest feeling... But once that feeling took root inside of me, I lost the strength to keep on fighting. Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Terra: Humbaba...the ancient monster released from the depths of the earth by the cataclysm... I have to protect the village! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Terra: Thank you... You all helped me understand what it means...to love. I'll fight! I'll make this world a place where life can flourish, and children can grow up in peace! Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Terra: Father...? Maduin: Terra...we must part now. We espers will disappear from this world. You may fade away as well... But, perhaps if the human part of you feels something strong enough, then maybe...just maybe you will be able to remain here as a human. Square Enix Final Fantasy VI Advance (in English) February 5, 2007
- Athab, Majed (October 9, 2008). "TGS 08: Terra and Cloud confirmed for Dissidia, roster now complete". Engadget. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Sahdev, Ishaan (February 7, 2011). "Cloud, Terra And Tidus Align With Chaos In Dissidia 012[duodecim]". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Sato (December 13, 2017). "Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Trailers Introduce Onion Knight, Cecil, Bartz, And Terra". Siliconera.
- Sato (August 11, 2016). "Dissidia Final Fantasy Adds "2nd Form" Outfits For Each Character And More On August 18". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Lada, Jenni (January 11, 2019). "Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia Crystal Awakenings And Updates Make A Good Game Better". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Narcisse, Evan (July 17, 2012). "Why Stressed-Out Final Fantasy Characters Probably Love Theatrhythm". Kotaku. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013.
- Sato (September 25, 2014). "Final Fantasy Explorers Adds Geomancer Job, Shows Terra From FFVI". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Siliconera Staff (February 15, 2013). "Sin Has Been Resurrected For Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Sato (August 16, 2016). "Terra Branford, Bartz Klauser, and Boco Join World of Final Fantasy". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Gilmour, James (January 16, 2013). "Cloud and Terra together at last in Final Fantasy: All The Bravest". Pocket Gamer. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016..
- Priestman, Chris (October 15, 2015). "Final Fantasy VI's Terra Returns In Final Fantasy Record Keeper". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Sato (May 10, 2016). "Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius To Release Westward For Smartphone Soon". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Siliconera Staff (April 1, 2014). "Final Fantasy VI Heroes Summoned Like Espers For Final Fantasy Tactics S". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Siliconera Staff (November 6, 2014). "Final Fantasy Costumes Pop Into Square Enix's Light Gun Game". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- Oxford, Nadia (May 12, 2007). "Everyone's Fantasies: Final Fantasy's Journey from Niche to Megahit". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
- "Final Fantasy 3 Figurines!". EGM2. Vol. 1 no. 5. November 1994. p. 96.
- Sato (September 21, 2017). "Advent Cloud, Cid & Cait Sith, Dirge of Cerberus Vincent, Dissidia Terra Play Arts Kai Figures Revealed". Siliconera. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
- "ＦＦコロシアム" [FF Colosseum]. V Jump (in Japanese). Shueisha. September 1994. pp. 186–189. Lay summary.
- "ＦＦコロシアム" [FF Colosseum]. V Jump (in Japanese). Shueisha. October 1994. pp. 190–193. Lay summary.
- Studio BentStuff, ed. (January 29, 2009). "Chapter EX Director Section II Part 6". Dissidia Final Fantasy Ultimania. Ultimania (in Japanese). Square Enix. pp. 696–699. ISBN 978-4-7575-2488-0.
- Mielke, James; Minamoto, Hiroko (July 20, 2006). "A Day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Yoshitaka Amano". 1UP.com. p. 5. Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2006.
- "ＦＦコロシアム" [FF Colosseum]. V Jump (in Japanese). Shueisha. January 1995. pp. 208–211. Lay summary.
- Rork, Bob (May 7, 1997). "Bob Rork Woolsey Interview". Chrono Compendium. Archived from the original on July 13, 2006. Retrieved August 9, 2006.
- Honorof, Marshall (August 20, 2013). "Top 10 Video Game Female Protagonists". Tom's Guide. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013.
- "人気投票" [Popularity Poll]. V Jump (in Japanese). Shueisha. November 1995. pp. 186–189. Lay summary.
- "人気投票" [Popularity Poll]. V Jump (in Japanese). Shueisha. December 1995. pp. 184–187. Lay summary.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (January 17, 2013). "Square Enix Poll: Favorite Female Final Fantasy Character". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Clements, Ryan (July 30, 2009). "Dissidia Final Fantasy: Terra". IGN. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- "Top 100 Games of All-Time: Final Fantasy (series)". Next Generation. No. 21. September 1996. p. 64. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- Complex Editorial Staff (October 8, 2013). "Terra Branford — The 20 Greatest Final Fantasy Characters of All Time". Complex. Archived from the original on October 12, 2013. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
- Rougeau, Michael (March 4, 2013). "The 50 Greatest Heroines In Video Game History". Complex. Archived from the original on March 7, 2013.
- Franich, Darren (March 5, 2013). "15 Kick-Ass Women in Videogames". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Archived from the original on April 16, 2014. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
- Hutchinson, Rachael (2019). Japanese Culture Through Videogames. Routledge. ISBN 978-0367111380.