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Narshe, titled "Colliery City Narshe" (炭坑都市ナルシェ, Tankō Toshi Narushe?) in the Japanese version, is a town in Final Fantasy VI and the first location visited in the game. It is a coal mining town at the northern edge of the world, governed by the Elder of Narshe. Situated in the mountains and affected by snowy conditions, Narshe resists invasion attempts by the Gestahlian Empire.

The town is one of the game's most important locations. In the first half of the game, it is where the player party makes their base of operations before they have an airship, and several storyline events, including the beginning and the Battle for the Frozen Esper, take place here. In the latter half, Narshe is visited once again for several rare items. The town is also home to the Adventuring School, the game's Beginner's Hall.

Story[]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Narshe was founded as a free city around 700 years ago,[1] and is situated inside a narrow valley at a high altitude. The town experiences a tundra climate with snowfall all year. The remote location and unforgiving climate has allowed Narshe to maintain its independence from foreign powers.[2]

199 years ago, the discovery of a large coal vein led to "coal rush" in Narshe, which became industrialized as a result. The town got its first real government around 50 years later, with trade being one of its primary areas of focus. During the expansion of the Gestahlian Empire, Narshe's weapons trade rivaled the size of its coal trade. Narshe signed a non-aggression pact with the Empire some 20 years ago, and declared itself neutral in all matters regarding the Empire's expansion. This treaty would last for 20 years, and Narshe sat out the first two of Emperor Gestahl's wars of conquest.[2]

Terra invades Narshe in search of the frozen esper.

In the Third Gestahlian Campaign Narshe strives to maintain its neutrality, though one prominent citizen, Arvis, is secretly allied with the Returners. When the town discovers a frozen esper in a newly dug mineshaft, they attract the Empire's attention; in violation of their treaty with Narshe, they send Terra Branford, Biggs and Wedge to raid the town and seize the esper. While the three easily defeat Narshe's guards, the esper reacts to Terra's presence with a surge of magic, killing Biggs and Wedge and freeing Terra from Imperial control when the Slave Crown she was wearing is disabled.

Terra is rescued from the mines by Arvis, but the guards of Narshe still wish to arrest her as an Imperial soldier. Arvis sends Terra to flee through the mines, and then contacts Locke Cole, a "Treasure Hunter" and contact with the Returners, to aid in her escape. Locke is able to save Terra from the guards with the help of Mog and ten other moogles, but they kill a Narshe guard in the process. The Narsheans close their gates to the Returners, and anyone attempting to enter the town is chased away by armed guards.

The Elder decided to fight against the Empire.

Later, Terra returns to Narshe in the company of Edgar, king of Figaro, and Banon, leader of the Returners. With Arvis they attempt to convince the town to side with the Returners, but the Elder of Narshe is hesitant for fear of provoking further Imperial attacks. Locke arrives with the former Imperial general Celes Chere, and informs the group that an Imperial force led by Kefka Palazzo is already on its way to Narshe to seize the esper by force. The Elder agrees to accept defensive aid from the Returners and the Battle for the Frozen Esper ends with the Returners driving off Kefka and the Imperials. In the aftermath, Terra confronts the frozen esper and transforms into an esper herself, flying away.

While Narshe has not formally aligned itself with the Returners, Banon and his forces remain there to aid in its defense against any further Imperial aggression, while a group of them searches for Terra. After Terra is recovered, Narshe joins the Returners and the group plots an attack on the Imperial capital Vector with the aid of Narshe and Figaro forces. Lacking the manpower for such an endeavor, the Returners ask Terra to go to the gate to the Esper World and enlist their aid. Instead, the espers that emerge from the gateway decimate Vector, and the town is occupied by a coalition of Returners and Narshe soldiers.

The weapon shop owner giving the Ragnarok magicite to the party.

After the cataclysm Narshe is overrun by monsters. It is never directly stated how this happened, though it is possible that Kefka attacked the town with his Light of Judgment. Most of the citizens have fled or been killed, with a few exceptions: Mog has returned to the moogle home within the mines, the adventurer's school is still operational, the weapons shop owner is still in his shop and gives the party the Ragnarok, and another resident sick in bed in another home will hand over the Cursed Shield. Most doors in the town are locked and can only be opened by Locke; the only buildings not locked are the Armor shop, Arvis' house, the Elder's house, and the adventurer's school.

If the party returns to the snowfields above the town, they can thaw the frozen Esper to obtain its magicite, and defeating it opens a secret passage to the Yeti's Cave behind the cliffs of Narshe. Umaro can be recruited into the party here, provided Mog is with them.

Narshe is not shown during the end of the game and if it is repopulated after the defeat of Kefka is unknown. In the SNES version, a lone Narshe guard in Kohlingen pledges to return to Narshe.[3]

Spoilers end here.

Geography[]

Narshe is built into the foot of a far northern mountain. The environment is chilly and cold, but Narshe is warmed by geothermal heaters; boilers and pipes can be seen throughout the town, as well as vents in the ground that may also serve to distribute heat. On the outskirts of town more houses are built on the cliffs and connected by staircases.

To the north the town of Narshe gives way to a large cliff face, where a mine shaft winds through the mountain and across the cliffs up to the snowfields overlooking the town. A secondary cave system, the Yeti's Cave, is contained in the mountains, but the only apparent entrance is a hole in the cliff that is unreachable.

Gameplay[]

Recruiting Mog (top) and obtaining Ragnarok (bottom).

Narshe is connected to four dungeons: the mines' north and south passage, the cliffs, and the Yeti's Cave (the latter two are connected to the mines' north passage).

In the World of Balance, Narshe is visited for three major story events: the opening sequence (where the player first controls Terra with Biggs and Wedge, and then controls Locke and the ten moogles), Terra's scenario (where the player controls Terra, Banon, and Edgar), and the Battle for the Frozen Esper (where the player controls all party members in all previous three scenarios). Thereafter, it becomes a base of operations prior to acquiring the airship. The player can optionally return to recruit Mog.

In the World of Ruin, Narshe becomes a dungeon itself overrun by monsters, and is where the Cursed Shield, and either the Ragnarok magicite or Ragnarok sword can be found. The player may also return to Narshe to recruit Mog again, and in the cliffs, they can find the frozen esper, Valigarmanda, to obtain as a magicite, the Ice Dragon to be fought as a boss, and Umaro in the Yeti's Cave.

Musical themes[]

"The Mines of Narshe" is the track used as the background theme for Narshe, but is replaced by the theme "Dark World" in the World of Ruin.

Other appearances[]

Narshe has appeared as a level in various spinoff titles throughout the series. In Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, the town of Narshe appears in the background of the game's Narshe Outskirts stage. In Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, Narshe and the surrounding snowcapped mountains appear in the background of the Field Music Sequence for "Terra's Theme" and "Searching for Friends", existing in the World of Balance for "Terra's Theme" and the World of Ruin for "Searching for Friends".

In Final Fantasy Airborne Brigade, the Snowfield Mining Town in the Kolts Region is based on the city of Narshe. Final Fantasy Record Keeper and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius have both featured Narshe as the setting for various dungeons and events, such as the Challenge Events A Fateful Coin Toss and Back to the Skies in Record Keeper.

Though it does not appear directly, there are several allusions to Narshe in Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy: Terra's second alternate outfit is called "Narshean Princess", and in her storyline, which begins in a snowfield, she remarks the snow makes her feel nostalgic. There is also a trade material named "Narshe Ore".

Behind the scenes[]

The reveal of Magitek Armor in Final Fantasy XIV.

The image of Terra, Biggs, and Wedge, walking across the snowfields of Narshe riding Magitek Armor, serves as an iconic image for Final Fantasy VI, as well as Terra herself and Magitek Armor and is referenced often. The scene is used for the game's intro and credit reel, and is featured in FMVs for the Anthology port. When Magitek Armor was added as a mount to Final Fantasy XIV, the reveal trailer recreated the scene with three characters riding the mount in a snowfield. In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Terra begins her storyline in the Elven Snowfields, and comments to Onion Knight that watching the snow makes her feel nostalgic. In World of Final Fantasy, the Mirage Manual entry for Magitek Armor mentions "an epic tale begins with three of these marching through the snow."

Early screenshots of Final Fantasy VI show Narshe with a chocobo stable, situated next to the Beginner's House, and the inn has a sign for a pub above it. In the final game Narshe does not have a chocobo stable or a pub. A sign for the pub exists in Narshe's tileset, but not one for the chocobo stable, and the pub sign is unused. There is also an unused map labeled for use as a chocobo stable listed among Narshe's other interiors, but it has no NPCs or events assigned to it.

The unobtainable Sprint Shoes.

A pair of Sprint Shoes exists in the back of Arvis' house. However, they were misplaced one tile too far to the right, beyond the space the party is able to walk on, making them unobtainable.

Citations[]

  1. Final Fantasy VI Settei Shiryō-hen, p. 49
  2. 2.0 2.1 Final Fantasy VI Settei Shiryō-hen, pp. 56-57
  3. Final Fantasy VI, NPC: Narshe is filled with monsters. I don't have any place to go home to... But I refuse to give up! I'm going back to Narshe. There's that frozen Esper... With you guys along, we'll be able to wake that thing up!
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