The World of Balance, also called WoB and Pre-C (Bonus section), is the title given to the unnamed world of Final Fantasy VI for the first half of the game. The name derives from the balance of power between the Warring Triad that upholds the world.
The world was created by the Warring Triad in ancient times, and they were responsible for keeping the balance. During the War of the Triad their power became unstable, and corrupted various denizens of the world, turning them into magical beings known as espers. They regretted their actions and the espers agreed to seal them up and protect them so they would not go haywire again.
A millennium later the Gestahlian Empire discovered this power and harnessed it for itself culminating in the Third Gestahlian Campaign. After opening the gate to the Esper World, Emperor Gestahl and Kefka Palazzo find the petrified Warring Triad and use their power to raise the Floating Continent. Kefka kills the emperor and moves the Triad out of their delicate balance, destroying the world, transforming it into the World of Ruin.
- Narshe - A mine city holding its neutrality, especially when a frozen Esper is discovered within its mines and later moved to the cliffs.
- Figaro Castle - A technologically advanced castle built in the middle of a desert. It has an established alliance with the Empire.
- South Figaro Cave - The path connecting Figaro Castle and South Figaro.
- South Figaro - A bustling town thriving on the sale of goods developed at Figaro Castle. Officially allied with the Empire.
- Mt. Kolts - A mountain with a path leading from South Figaro to the Sabre Mountain Range.
- Sabre Mountains - Mountain range hiding the headquarters of the Returners.
- Returner Hideout - Home base of the rebel Returners, and a launching point for the Lethe River.
- Lethe River - A river flowing through the Sabre Mountain Range, ultimately leading to the base of Narshe.
- Gau's father's house - A lone house occupied by an eccentric old man. A traveling salesman often stops for business.
- Imperial Camp - Temporary base set up by General Leo during the siege of Doma Castle.
- Doma Castle - Castle opposing the Empire and openly aiding the Returners.
- Phantom Forest - Forest dividing Doma from Barren Falls. The train that takes the dead to the beyond is hidden within.
- Baren Falls - Waterfall that empties into the Veldt.
- Veldt - Breeding grounds of creatures from all over the world.
- Mobliz - Remote village built on the edge of the Veldt. It is free from influence from either side of the war.
- Crescent Mountain Cave - Cave within a mountain in the southern section of the Veldt.
- Serpent Trench - Underwater passage with strong currents flowing from the Veldt to Nikeah.
- Nikeah - Bustling port town managing to remain out of imperial influence. A thin passage connects it to the rest of the continent.
- Bomb forest - A huge forest populated by Bombs.
- Kohlingen - Town opposing the Empire that has managed to prevent occupation.
- Dragon's Neck Cabin - A lone cabin.
- Jidoor - City of aristocrats featuring the world's only Auction House.
- Zozo - City built and populated by thieves and scoundrels. One of the few locations to remain unchanged in the World of Ruin.
- Opera House - Form of entertainment for the aristocrats of Jidoor. Features star singer Maria.
- Albrook - The first city to fall to the Empire. Contains the continent's only port.
- Maranda - Formerly renowned as the nicest city on the continent, it was attacked and burned by General Celes.
- Tzen - An occupied town on the north side of the Continent.
- Vector - Capital of the Empire and home of Emperor Gestahl.
- Magitek Research Facility - Facility dedicated to drawing the magical abilities from Espers and creating the Empire's Magitek weaponry.
- Imperial Palace - Headquarters of the Empire.
- Imperial Observation Post - Built outside of the cave leading to the Esper world.
- Cave to the Sealed Gate - The passage to the Sealed Gate and the Esper home world behind it.
- Thamasa - Remote town secretly inhabited by the descendants of the Magi.
- Esper Caves - Cave west of Thamasa.
- Chocobo Stable - Four chocobo stables are hidden in forests across the World of Balance.
- Triangle Island - Island located in the northeast corner of the world, it is present in both worlds.
Creation and development
The developers wanted to do something with an industrial revolution atmosphere, which led to creating a world with magitek armor and other machinery. Because Final Fantasy VI was not going to use a typical fantasy setting the developers thought carefully about each location to ensure they felt realistic and that towns seemed like places people actually lived in.
The World of Balance serves as the background for the Field Music Sequence for "Terra's Theme". Narshe and the northern mountains, Figaro Castle and the outlying desert, and the Phantom Forest with the Phantom Train, appear as specific features in the scenery.
Behind the scenes
The airship glitch can be used to return from the World of Ruin to the World of Balance if the player skipped the Figaro Castle scenario early in the game by using the same glitch. Since Figaro Castle is almost completely unchanged between the World of Balance and the World of Ruin, the player can return to the castle in the World of Ruin, trigger the scenario, and then re-emerge in the World of Balance.