Ordinarily it would be safe to assume that anyone visiting this site has played the game, but Final Fantasy VI is slowly becoming more and more forgotten, the older it gets. It's fortunate that it's been re-released numerous times, thus giving new generations of gamers a chance to witness its charm, but a lot of people look over it in favor of newer, flashier titles. So if you haven't had a chance to play, you can learn a little bit about the story right here. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum.
a brief introduction
Simply put, Final Fantasy VI is the tale of a group of people (and creatures) who somehow come together and save the world from a power-obsessed Empire. The game features an abnormally large cast of characters (at least for a Final Fantasy title), but I think that, at least on some level, this is meant to signify that the plot of the game is not focused on any one character's journey -- it is focused on the group as a whole and the interactions within that group. A few characters stand out as the leads -- Terra, Locke, Celes, and Edgar in particular -- but trying to pick out which one is the true "main" character is pretty sticky, and that's because there is none! The leader of your party varies constantly, and there are even times when none of these characters are in your party. Once again, I think that this is a very deliberate attempt on the part of the creators of the game to show that no one character is driving the story here -- each character serves his or her function, but the plot can theoretically dispose of any of them.
All of that being said, the game starts out with the player controlling Terra, a mysterious girl with magical powers. The player quickly learns that Terra has been used by the Empire for her powers, and one of the negative consequences of this is that she has lost her memory. Although she is hesitant to trust anyone, she is taken in by an old man who is opposed to the Empire, and he is responsible for sending Locke after her to protect her. After Terra and Locke join forces, they travel to Figaro to meet with King Edgar, a member of the underground resistance group, the Returners.
There isn't much more to the story than that -- the further the group travels, the more people they meet, and the more people join up with the party in an effort to save the world from oppression and destruction. Each character has his or her own unique back-story, and so much of Final Fantasy VI's charm is uncovering these different stories, one by one. Ultimately, it is the story of magic, courage, love, and above all else, friendship -- and I think just about anyone can relate to some of that!