Terra, initially known as ????? and then Girl, is a playable character in Final Fantasy VI. She is the first party member the player controls and a required party member for much of the first half of the game.
Terra's stats are well balanced, but she excels in magic, having among of the highest magic stats in the game; at base 39, she is second only to Relm for highest base Magic, and she also has innately high MP and Magic Defense, as well as decent Magic Evasion. Her Strength and Evasion are average, while her Speed is decent, and her only low stat is her Stamina, at base 28, which makes it slightly below average. Alongside Celes, she's also the only character who can learn some spells naturally by leveling up.
Terra has a wide variety of equipment. She begins the game equipped with a Mythril Knife, Buckler, Leather Cap and Leather Armor. Her ultimate weapon in the GBA and later versions is the Apocalypse, and is won from Red Dragon in Dragons' Den.
Her weapons include all swords but for Save the Queen, which is exclusive to Celes, and some daggers and maces. Terra's armor encompasses all shields and all heavy armor, as well as female-exclusive equipment. She also can equip most hats, light armor, and robes.
Terra's large equipment draw further lends to her versatility as a character. When she rejoins the party she can make good use out of the Flametongue, Icebrand, and Thunder Blade with her high magic boosting the spells they randomly cast, and if the player acquired a rare Rune Blade, Terra's high MP works well with its ability to consume 10 MP to deal automatic critical hits.
In the later game, magic-boosting weapons like the Enhancer let her get the most out of her spellcasting potential. With a Genji Glove to dual-wield two Enhancers, Terra has +14 Magic, the highest boost possible, and this can be done as soon as the player acquires the airship in the World of Ruin and recruits Terra. More offensively inclined swords like the Ragnarok, Lightbringer, and Ultima Weapon, allow her to be a powerful attacker instead.
Terra's Apocalypse and the Lightbringer share the effect of dealing automatic critical hits by consuming HP, both boost her Strength and Magic by 7, and both also increase her Evasion and Magic Evasion. Coupled with her many armor options like Force equipment, Genji equipment, and the Minerva Bustier, that provide high defenses and elemental resistances, and Terra has terrific potential to excel at both physical and magical combat and being resilient to enemy attacks.
Terra's unique ability is Trance, also known as Morph, where she transforms into an esper. She does not have access to the ability at the start of the game and acquires it after rejoining the party after the events of Zozo.
While Terra is transformed, the damage she deals is doubled and the magic damage she takes is halved. Her ATB gauge is replaced with a green gauge that slowly decreases, and when it empties, she automatically uses the Revert command to turn back into her normal state. She can also Revert at will at any time. Whether Terra Reverts when the gauge depletes or when the player commands it, she cannot enter Trance again for the current battle. The length of time Terra can stay in Trance depends on the amount of Magic AP she has gained after battle. If she has not gained enough, she cannot enter Trance, and if her Trance gauge depletes during battle, she will not be able to enter Trance in the next battle until she acquires enough Magic AP again. The maximum amount she can have is 255.
In the second battle with Humbaba, Terra enters Trance at the start of the battle and remains that way for the duration of the fight, and cannot use Revert. Following the battle, Trance's duration doubles. Terra also often enters Trance and transforms for story purposes, but this never has any effect on her abilities in battle aside from the Humbaba battle.
When riding Magitek Armor, Terra has four additional Magitek abilities exclusive to her: Banisher, Confuser, Bio Blast, and Magitek Missile. The latter is significantly stronger than the three attacks other characters have, and Confuser and Bio Blast give her options for groups of enemies other characters lack. If brought into the Dreamscape, Terra retains her expanded Magitek skillset.
Terra is one of two characters to naturally learn magic as she levels up without equipping magicite. Compared to Celes, who learns attack and status spells, Terra focuses on healing and attack magic. Terra learns the Fire line of spells, contrasting with Celes's Blizzard spells.
In the World of Balance, Terra is a required party member from the start of the game up to the end of the Lethe River sequence, with a brief period of inactivity when Locke and the Ten Moogles are defending her in Narshe. Following the Battle for the Frozen Esper Terra leaves the party and rejoins after completion of the Magitek Research Facility and viewing her flashbacks of the Esper World. She is then a required party member for the journey through the Cave to the Sealed Gate and the Imperial expedition to Thamasa and the Espers' Gathering Place.
In the World of Ruin, Terra is recruited in Mobliz in a two-part scenario. The first part can be done as soon as the player begins the World of Ruin, or later after acquiring the Falcon. After finding the children of Mobliz living underground and speaking to Terra, the player will control her in battle against Humbaba. Humbaba is invincible and Terra will eventually fall, and the player's current party will fight him until he flees.
After the Falcon is acquired, the player can return to Mobliz and find Terra in a basement of a separate building, and Humbaba attacks again. During the battle, once he has taken sufficient damage, Humbaba will use Humbaba Breath to remove two random party members from the battle. After a cutscene, Terra rejoins the party and the fight with Humbaba begins again. Terra is permanently in Trance in this battle, and will automatically equip herself with the strongest equipment in the inventory (she will not equip Relics). After the battle Terra will rejoin the party.
When returning to Narshe after the events of the Magitek Research Facility and Zozo, the cutscene of the meeting with Banon and the Elder of Narshe changes slightly depending on if Terra is in the active party or not; if she is, she walks aside when speaking up about their plan, if she is not then she enters the house on her own to join the conversation.
If the player enters the Imperial Observation Post blocking the Cave to the Sealed Gate without Terra in the party, they will refuse to go on without her. Conversely, entering the outpost with a party of only Terra will have her hesitate and go back. This is a failsafe due to a scripted battle with Kefka in the cave where the party members other than Terra fight him.
When exploring the Ancient Castle and the party finds the Queen's Diary that discusses her love for Odin, if Terra is in the party, there will be a brief additional scene where she muses on there being love between a human and an esper, a reflection of her own mother and father.
If the players puts off recruiting Terra before entering Kefka's Tower and completing the game, there will be an additional scene before the final battle where she senses the party needs her in Mobliz, and enters Trance and flies away. Once Kefka is defeated, Terra will arrive and the ending will proceed with her taking part as normal, including her ending scene. This makes Terra the only character whose ending scene can be viewed without recruiting her, everyone else has their scene skipped.
A dummied sprite of Terra's esper form exists in the map data for Kohlingen. During the search for Terra after she transforms and flies away from Narshe, the citizens of Kohlingen make reference to her appearing near the town and burning down a house. It is probable that a scene of Terra at Kohlingen was intended but unimplemented and the sprite is a leftover of those plans.
Item duplication glitch
There is a bug exclusive to the Game Boy Advance version where during the final battle, the function that replaces fallen party members accounts for fourteen characters, despite there being a maximum of twelve characters brought to the dungeon. As a consequence, if each tier is completed with a lone survivor, Terra will join the battle regardless of her presence and recruitment status. Therefore, when two instances of Terra are present, duplicating her handheld equipment becomes possible.