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View Full Version : Opera Scene: Magical Moment or Silly Fluff?



Wolf Kanno
04-08-2014, 05:43 AM
I like to think for most people playing this game back in 1994, the opera scene is a magical moment where VI sort of through a curve ball at the player with a hilarious premise, and mind blowing and surprising mini-game, and a moment that really changed the way you perceived Celes and Locke and their relationship. This is easily the game's most famous scene but much like with Aerith's death, I wonder if the scene has lost its impact over time and became one of those "you had to have been there" moments in the series. I often find it's the old members or retro lovers that appreciate it while the new crowd is like "well it was different, not suure why you are gushing over it but yeah whatever". So what are your thoughts?

Big D
04-08-2014, 08:23 AM
Disclaimer: I love the opera scene and its music.

However, in the context of the game's story, the entire opera scene makes virtually no sense.

So, the actress playing Maria is replaced by Celes. Fair enough. After all, we're told that Setzer's going to arrive in his airship and whisk 'Maria' away for romance. But this raises some important questions:

(1) If the Impresario knows about Setzer's plan, he should just tell Maria not to go along with it. She's his employee, after all, and should be contractually obliged to avoid ruining an expensive show.

(2) If Maria's not actually involved in Setzer's plans, then that means he's basically a globe-trotting abductor and probable rapist - someone who deserves to be stopped, preferably with deadly force.

So either Maria is a pathetic failure of an opera star, unable to curb her hormones for a couple of hours until the show's over, or Setzer is a disgrace to humanity.

Then there's the issue of the substitution. The Impresario wants Celes to sub for Maria so that the star of his show won't elope or be abducted in the middle of a performance. However, even with Celes on stage instead of Maria, Setzer is going to go ahead with his diabolical plan - he doesn't know about the switch, so he's still going to crash the opera and try to take off with the star.

From the Impresario's point of view, the night is still ruined either way. The only upside is that Maria may remain to perform again another day. Unless, of course, she wanted to flee with Setzer all along, because there's nothing to stop her leaving with him later.

Finally, there's the most obvious flaw: Celes is 18 years old, a genetically-enhanced super-solider who's achieved the rank of General while still in her teens. She's a gifted soldier and military leader. So when the hell did she also become a musical genius, who can read the libretto once and then flawlessly perform the lead role in an opera from memory? I seriously doubt that scales and arpeggios were at the core of the Empire's military curriculum.

Now, it's been years since I played this game, so I might be remembering some of these details wrongly. But from what I recall, the opera scene's really hard to justify or fully explain in any reasonable, internally consistent way.

Jiro
04-08-2014, 10:15 AM
Hard to argue with Big D.

The Man
04-08-2014, 10:47 AM
It doesn't make much sense, no, but that's overridden by Rule of Cool, of which the opera is one of the finest examples in the entire series. Despite all the problems with it it still manages to be one of the most powerful moments in the whole series. A lot of that is helped by Uematsu's superb soundtrack.

NeoCracker
04-08-2014, 05:43 PM
Wait, are you telling me you missed the scene in the game where Ghestal was training his troops to preform? The Empire's Troops would always preform before a different show immediately after the invasion, and the scrip was usually written by Kefka on the spot (We all know it's the crazy people who write the best stories after all).

Creating Opera on a moments notice is a skill held by every Imperial officer.

Sephex
04-09-2014, 05:51 AM
I like the sequence because it's a good break from the usual stuff you would find in a Final Fantasy game. It's silly, sure, but that's half the fun. Of course, I also like the soundtrack as other people have pointed out.

That being said, I never got the group of people who said that they bawled their eyes out at this part. While the story is a bit sad, it's nothing worth crying over. If anything, I always interpreted the plot to be a homage to how operas/plays are in a very broad sense. Sure, the lyrics can be seen as heartfelt and touching, but again, bawling your eyes out? Keep in mind that I am not one of those "tough guys" who thinks crying is a bad thing or a sign of weakness. I just feel some people took this scene a bit to seriously.

maybee
04-09-2014, 06:02 AM
That being said, I never got the group of people who said that they balled their eyes out at this part. While the story is a bit sad, it's nothing worth crying over. If anything, I always interpreted the plot to be a homage to how operas/plays are in a very broad sense. Sure, the lyrics can be seen as heartfelt and touching, but again, balling your eyes out? Keep in mind that I am not one of those "tough guys" who thinks crying is a bad thing or a sign of weakness. I just feel some people took this scene a bit to seriously.

Yeah the opera scene is fantastic but crying over it is a bit extreme. Aerith's death yeah, Galuf's death yeah, Leo's death yeah.


But balling your eyes out at this, is taking it too seriously.


It is a sweet, touching and wonderful moment though and it's a fun play and has a sweet song, perhaps one of the best moments of the whole game.

Psychotic
04-09-2014, 08:29 AM
It was so unmemorable to me when I first played it that I was moderately confused when I saw people gushing over it on this very forum a few months after playing the game. "Oh, you mean that thing I had to do to get Setzer?" I've always felt cheated that I was robbed of some magical emotional gaming moment, because I simply did not get it!

I've even seen the opera performed live and while it's neat, I still don't get the love this scene gets. As far as emotion goes, Edgar's coin toss, Locke and Rachel or anything with Cyan's guilt and loneliness are all much more powerful to me.

Sephex
04-09-2014, 09:48 AM
It was so unmemorable to me when I first played it that I was moderately confused when I saw people gushing over it on this very forum a few months after playing the game. "Oh, you mean that thing I had to do to get Setzer?" I've always felt cheated that I was robbed of some magical emotional gaming moment, because I simply did not get it!

I've even seen the opera performed live and while it's neat, I still don't get the love this scene gets. As far as emotion goes, Edgar's coin toss, Locke and Rachel or anything with Cyan's guilt and loneliness are all much more powerful to me.

It had a bigger impact if you first played it when the game/technology was still fresh. If you came late to the party, I can see how that sequence would be viewed as very awkward.

The Man
04-09-2014, 09:51 AM
I first played it in 2001 and still thought it was amazing :gator:

maybee
04-09-2014, 10:11 AM
I first played it in 2001 and still thought it was amazing :gator:

2005 here

The Opera song was my favorite song back then and even wrote down all the lyrics so could remember them. c:

Sephex
04-09-2014, 10:25 AM
Hmmm...well, in my experience most of the time people felt some sort of awkwardness towards that sequence, it was because they didn't play the game when it originally came out. Believe me, I am glad to see people with open minds, I have simply seen the opposite reaction many times.

Scotty_ffgamer
04-09-2014, 10:29 PM
I do think it's sort of silly fluff, but I also think it is a magical moment. I first played this game like two years ago, and I was blown away by the scene just from a technical standpoint. It's nothing special now, but it's pretty amazing for the time. I didn't bawl my eyes out or anything, but it is a great scene, I think.

Karifean
04-09-2014, 11:37 PM
I had heard about it before and when it came up and I leaned back to enjoy it I was surprised to see it being a minigame, which caught me completely off guard and had me fail a few times. Listening to the same parts multiple times made it a bit repetitive.

VeloZer0
04-10-2014, 03:58 PM
It was so unmemorable to me when I first played it that I was moderately confused when I saw people gushing over it on this very forum a few months after playing the game. "Oh, you mean that thing I had to do to get Setzer?" I've always felt cheated that I was robbed of some magical emotional gaming moment, because I simply did not get it!

I've even seen the opera performed live and while it's neat, I still don't get the love this scene gets. As far as emotion goes, Edgar's coin toss, Locke and Rachel or anything with Cyan's guilt and loneliness are all much more powerful to me.
My sentiments kind of echo this. I never found the Opera scene to be particularly memorable. For me it was just another one of those break up the pacing moments.

Spooniest
04-11-2014, 12:23 PM
It seems like bad form to say anything bad about the Aria Di Mezzo Carraterre. That is all.

Pike
04-11-2014, 01:18 PM
I see it as a Magical Moment but not because of its position in the game itself. It's a Magical Moment in the wider sense of "Holy crap I haven't seen anything like this in a video game before."

You could take this and plop it in any other game and I'd still think it was just as special. I like this scene not for its position in Final Fantasy VI but because it's really different in the wider world of gaming. The emotion I get from it has nothing to do with the characters or story of FFVI and everything to do with "Goddamn gaming is awesome. Fifteen years ago we had Pac-Man and now we have operas and shit."

Does that make sense?

blackmage_nuke
04-11-2014, 02:40 PM
From the Impresario's point of view, the night is still ruined either way. The only upside is that Maria may remain to perform again another day. Unless, of course, she wanted to flee with Setzer all along, because there's nothing to stop her leaving with him later.

Finally, there's the most obvious flaw: Celes is 18 years old, a genetically-enhanced super-solider who's achieved the rank of General while still in her teens. She's a gifted soldier and military leader. So when the hell did she also become a musical genius, who can read the libretto once and then flawlessly perform the lead role in an opera from memory? I seriously doubt that scales and arpeggios were at the core of the Empire's military curriculum.


I assumed after Celes was abducted, Maria came on for act 2 which we didnt see. (Impressario even says, something about act 2)

Also Celes probably has an amazing singing voice in the same way everyone in FFVIII can sight read sheet music for 8 different musical instruments

I dont know what Setzers end goal was, whether it was rape or ransom or chaining her to his airship to perform for his casion clients or maybe he just did it as a publicity stunt to promote his casino

maybee
04-11-2014, 03:49 PM
I dont know what Setzers end goal was, whether it was rape or ransom or chaining her to his airship to perform for his casion clients or maybe he just did it as a publicity stunt to promote his casino

Setzer wanted Maria from memory, and yeah, it was kinda rape, since he planned to force Maria ( Celes ) into marriage.