The Phantom Train ferries the souls of the departed to the other side. Once the souls arrive, they are granted their eternal rest.Conductor
The Phantom Train is a dungeon in Final Fantasy VI and an unrevisitable location. It is a train that carries the dead to the "other side". The train departs from the Phantom Forest and is full of ghosts who can be spoken to—some attack the party, some sell them items, and some are friendly and volunteer to join the party, at least until they make it to the engine.
Sabin, Cyan and Shadow accidentally board the train at the Phantom Forest and work their way to the front to stop it so they can get off. After battling through the train cars, they attempt to stop the engine, only to discover it is sentient. The engine attacks them, but is defeated and so allows them to get off at the next stop. When they disembark, Cyan is anguished as he witnesses his deceased wife and son board the train along with the other victims of the destruction of Doma Castle.
The Phantom Train, along with the Phantom Forest, does not appear in the World of Ruin, but part of Cyan's Dreamscape is based on the Phantom Train. When in the Dreamscape, the party encounters Cyan's memories of the ghostly passengers on the train chasing after him.
The Phantom Train tows several train cars behind it full of ghosts. Some of the ghosts are friendly and will join the party temporarily or sell the party items, but most are hostile and attack when approached. The rear cars are for lower class seating, while the cars near the front of the engine are seemingly upper class, as they have private seating compartments and treasure chests with valuables. A dining car separates the two sections near the middle of the train.
Outside the train has walkways running on the outside of the cars and ladders leading to the roofs. Sometimes the roofs allow an alternate path through the train than going through the car, though other times the roofs are collapsed or only have one ladder access. A car near the rear of the train has a roof hatch that it is possible for the party to fall through into the train car.
Due to a sequence where Sabin leaps across two train cars, the train car he bypasses is the only one the party cannot explore. Curiously, this car has a unique feature on it, a double-wide doorway leading out onto the walkways.
In addition to random encounters, speaking to one of the ghosts in the train initiates a battle against either one Ghost or three Ghosts.
|Phoenix Down||500 gil|
|Green Cherry||150 gil|
|Sleeping Bag||500 gil|
Another room at the front of the train has two items hidden in the upper-left corner of the room, a Tent. In the 2014 mobile and Steam releases, there is an addition Potion obtainable from a previously unreachable spot in the previous releases.
Escape the Phantom Train
Upon entering the Phantom Train, the party is trapped on it and must make for the engine to escape. In the caboose one car to the right of the entrance, a friendly Ghost will join the party. It cannot be healed in battle and has no equipment, but is useful to keep alive to defeat a powerful miniboss near the front of the train. If the player is without Shadow, a second Ghost will appear once the area is left and re-entered and can be recruited again.
The path to the front of the train is linear through the cars up until a particular car that can only be entered from a walkway on the side of the car, and once the party is inside a ghost blocks the door. Speaking to this ghost initiates a battle and then a scene where Sabin leaps several cars ahead. When control returns, enter the car and pull the switch to detach the rear cars, then pull the switch again to open the path forward and continue on to the upper class cars. One of the compartments contains a lone treasure chest that triggers a fight with Siegfried, but he is very weak and the battle is easy to win. A more dangerous foe is the Apparition, a monster-in-a-box that is quite powerful. As any Ghosts in the party will leave shortly, this is the time to use their Possess ability to kill the Apparition instantly.
At the tender, any Ghosts in the party leave. Enter the engine cab and pull the first and third switches, then go outside and left to climb onto the locomotive. Inspect the switch by the smokestack to initiate a battle with the Phantom Train itself. When it is defeated, a series of cutscenes will play and eventually the party will disembark the Phantom Train and leave the Phantom Forest.
"Phantom Train" is the theme that plays during Sabin, Cyan and Shadow's travels onboard the train.
Another one appears as a boss created by Omega for the Omega: Sigmascape raid series. This version is a copy Omega created from observing a world from the Interdimensional Rift, which resembled that of Final Fantasy VI.
The Phantom Train is a battle stage. Vaan and Onion Knight also have a conversation on the train. It is a small and narrow map, but the camera can swing through the walls and ceiling, turning them transparent. The seats are destructible and the Phantom Forest whizzes past the windows. The camera shakes while fighting here as though actually on a moving train.
During the twelfth cycle of war, Vaan tries to cheer the Onion Knight up from his recent loss in a practice match against the Warrior of Light, oblivious to himself being the cause of Onion Knight's distress by the way he treats him. When Vaan walks away to speak with Laguna, the Onion Knight tells Squall he is growing used to Vaan's role as his older brother.
The Phantom Train has no Omega version.
The battlegen item obtained through stage destruction in this area is the Ghost.
The Phantom Train makes a cameo appearance as part of the background in the Final Fantasy VI Field Music Sequence events, visible inside the Phantom Forest.
Sabin, Shadow, and Cyan have escaped the Imperial Camp and wandered into a forest, where they discover a mysterious train. No sooner do they board to investigate than the whistle blows and the train lurches into motion!Description
Phantom Train is unlocked by completing South Figaro Cave in the Final Fantasy VI realm. Completion of this dungeon unlocks Chaos Shrine in the Final Fantasy I realm and Esper Valley in the Final Fantasy VI realm.
- Classic Rewards
|Mastery Reward||Lesser Power Orb||5|
|First Time Completion||Cyan||1|
- Elite Rewards
|Mastery Reward||Greater White Orb||3|
|First Time Completion||Mythril||1|
Behind the scenes
In the Japanese script, the merchant ghosts on the train speak in a Kansai dialect, which is often used in Japanese media for merchant characters. The English scripts, both for the Super NES and the Game Boy Advance releases, adapt this into a salesman-like speech pattern, with the ghosts happily greeting the party and advertising cheap items for sale.
In the dining car in the train after the initial meal which prompts a unique scene, the player can view different scenes depending on which party member is currently in the lead. Sabin will enthusiastically demand food, Cyan expresses skepticism about the meal, Shadow will feed part of his meal to Interceptor, and the Ghost will dance in place for a moment. This has no effect on the meal's healing properties.
In the SNES and its ports, the room that contains the hidden Tent also has a hidden Fairy Ring within. In the 2014 mobile and Steam releases, where it is possible to face this tile without entering it, the item can be obtained, but it is changed to a Potion.
Sabin's ability to use the Meteor Strike Blitz on the Phantom Train is infamous in the Final Fantasy VI fandom. A video of the battle declaring it "The Best Moment of Final Fantasy 6" depicts Sabin using Suplex (as it was called in the Super NES version) to defeat the Phantom Train in one hit; the video has several hundred thousand views as of writing.
The meme is so popular that it has been acknowledged by Square Enix. Official Final Fantasy social media accounts celebrating Final Fantasy VI's 27th anniversary mentioned "suplexing trains" as one of the events to occur during the game, and in the lead-up to the release of the Pixel Remaster port, the official Final Fantasy Twitter account tweeted a video of Sabin using Meteor Strike on the Phantom Train to reassure players "you can still suplex the train in Final Fantasy VI pixel remaster". After numerous comments that the animation for Meteor Strike did not flip the Phantom Train's sprite upside-down as in previous versions of the game, the account addressed these concerns by stating the video was taken from an pre-release version of the Pixel Remaster port and the animation will be corrected in the final release.
A common misconception is that bosses in Final Fantasy VI are typically immune to Meteor Strike and the Phantom Train's vulnerability was a glitch or oversight that was retained through re-releases of the game due to the fame of Sabin's feat. In actuality, many bosses throughout the game are vulnerable to Meteor Strike, including several of the eight legendary dragons. Even so, it is Sabin's use of Meteor Strike on the Phantom Train that has stuck in the minds of the fandom above any other enemy.
Ghost train refers to a phantom vehicle in the form of a locomotive or train.
- Transcript of Ted Woolsey interview (Accessed: July 25, 2020) at Player One Podcast forums
- 25 Years Since The Release Of Final Fantasy VI – Looking Back At The Passion (Accessed: April 09, 2019) at One Million Power
- Square Enix [@FinalFantasy] (2021, April 2). 27 years ago we first climbed into Magitek armor and journeyed through the snow - join us in saying happy birthday to #FinalFantasy VI today! Who thought suplexing trains, meeting an octopus and performing in an opera could be so fun? We hope you didn't leave Shadow behind... [Tweet]. Twitter.
- Square Enix [@FinalFantasy] (2022, February 13). Yes, you can still suplex the train in Final Fantasy VI pixel remaster. [Tweet]. Twitter.
- Square Enix [@FinalFantasy] (2022, February 17). We’re still hard at work polishing Final Fantasy VI pixel remaster in time for launch next week, and we saw some of your comments that the Phantom Train didn’t flip during Meteor Strike. The video was taken from a pre-release version, and will be adjusted in time for launch! [Tweet]. Twitter.