The World of Ruin, also called WoR or Post-C (Bonus section), is the second of two worlds in Final Fantasy VI. The World of Ruin is characterized by barren wastelands, deserts, burned forests, and polluted water. It consists of a series of small islands that dot the world, and those islands are where most people live.
The World of Ruin was created when Kefka Palazzo moved the Warring Triad out of alignment on the Floating Continent. This delicate balance was the key to sealing the World of Balance in place. When Kefka moved the Triad out of balance, the face of the world itself shifted in an event that would become known as the end of the world. The result was the World of Ruin.
At the center of the former imperial continent, Kefka's Tower, a monument to destruction, was formed with the debris. Atop this monument Kefka uses his Light of Judgment to exert his will on the world and destroy those who disobey him. Many monsters of legend were released when the world shifted—including Humbaba, Deathgaze, and the eight legendary dragons—and they were invited to wreak havoc on the world at will. Many of the weaker monsters also mutated into stronger, more violent beasts.
A year later, Celes Chere wakes up on the Solitary Island where she had been cared for by Cid Del Norte Marquez. She takes a raft to the Southern Continent from where she begins her travels to find her lost companions. She runs into Sabin Rene Figaro in the town of Tzen after Kefka strikes it with his Light of Judgment. When the town's tallest building begins to collapse, Sabin uses his strength to hold it up while Celes saves the child inside. Afterward, Sabin joins her.
The two find Edgar Roni Figaro disguised as a thief named Gerad who has recruited the best thieves around the world to form a gang known as the Crimson Robbers to help him get into Figaro Castle that has become stuck underground. Celes and Sabin catch up to him in Nikeah and follow him through South Figaro and South Figaro Cave through a secret passage to the castle. The pair follows him to the engine room where Edgar reveals his true identity. Celes and Sabin help him defeat the monster that disrupted the engine, and Edgar rejoins the two.
With the airship the party begins recruiting their former allies to assemble their party to confront Kefka. Terra Branford resides in the village of Mobliz, which was attacked by Kefka's Light of Judgment, killing all adults, and the orphaned children have latched onto her. Terra stays to care for the kids and initially believes herself a burden and declines to join the others. When Humbaba attacks the town a second time Terra sees her friends in danger and joins the battle in her esper form and helps them defeat the monster. The children are startled by her appearance, but recognize her as their "mama." Terra realizes what she had been feeling is love for the children and with the epiphany entrusts the care of Mobliz to Duane and Katarin, the two eldest orphans, and joins the party in their battle against Kefka.
Cyan Garamonde finds an anxious Lola in Maranda, worrying because her (dead) boyfriend is not writing her. Cyan makes his home atop Mt. Zozo and sends letters and hand-made silk flowers to Lola in the stead of her boyfriend. When the rest of the party finds him at Mt. Zozo, he rejoins. Cyan returns to what is left of Doma Castle and takes a rest there. He is haunted by the three Dream Stooges: Laragorn, Curlax, and Moebius. The rest of the party go inside his mind and help him clear his thoughts by defeating Wrexsoul, a manifestation of Cyan's fear and anger.
Gau has returned to the Veldt. He rejoins the party, and Sabin decides Gau should meet his father—but first, Gau is given a makeover. Sabin takes him to Jidoor and dresses him up. When Gau meets his father, the latter doesn't recognize him, and mentions having had a "dream" of throwing away a supposed demon child into the Veldt. He compliments Gau's "parents" for raising such a nice young man. Sabin threatens to beat up Gau's father, but Gau is happy his father is still alive.
Relm has been hired by Owzer, a wealthy art collector in Jidoor, to help him remove a demon named Chadarnook that has possessed one of his prized paintings. The party shows up to help out and after the fight, Relm rejoins. She accompanies the party to the Cultists' Tower where Strago Magus has become a member of the Cult of Kefka to mourn for Relm whom he believes dead. Relm snaps Strago out from his trance with a few choice words, and he rejoins. Relm and Strago return to Thamasa where they find Strago's old friend, Gungho, apparently injured by Hidon, a monster he and Strago used to hunt in their youth. Strago and Relm go to defeat Hidon, and return victorious.
Locke Cole heard a legend of the esper Phoenix said to revive the dead. He wants to use it on his late girlfriend Rachel and heads for the Phoenix Cave where the rest of the party locates him and invites him to Kohlingen. Locke uses the esper to revive Rachel who tells Locke to stop feeling guilty. She dies again, restoring Phoenix to life. Locke, exculpated, joins Celes and the others to fight Kefka.
If the party waited for Shadow on the Floating Continent a year ago, he is found, wounded, in the Cave on the Veldt (otherwise, Relm appears in his stead). The party rescues him and takes him to Thamasa to recover. Shadow heads for the Dragon's Neck Coliseum in search of the legendary dagger, the Ichigeki. If the party wagers it, they fight Shadow and if they win, Shadow rejoins the party.
Narshe has become overrun by monsters, and most of the townsfolk have fled or been killed. Many doors are locked and require Locke to open them. Mog has returned to the cave in the Narshe Mines, and is the only moogle left. When the party finds him, he rejoins and tells them to find Umaro, whom he claims would be helpless without him. After the party finds and beats Umaro in battle, Mog bosses him around and orders the yeti to join the party.
With their assembled forces the party tackles Kefka's Tower and faces Kefka himself at the top. When the party first enters the tower they question the fate of magic, espers, and Terra if they destroy the Warring Triad—since the three deities are the source of magic, their destruction would cause it to vanish from the world.
When the party confronts Kefka at the tower's summit, he declares all life is meaningless and expresses his desire to continue destroying the world until humans have no hope or dreams. The party engages Kefka's final minions before battling Kefka himself. With Kefka dead, the tower begins to collapse, and Terra transforms into her esper form to lead the party out of the tower. The party races to the airship as Terra flies into the air to lead them to safety, her powers fading.
As the party escapes, the magicites they have collected vanish. Maduin, one of the party's espers and Terra's father, comforts her with the knowledge she can survive if her human side has a strong emotional attachment to the world. Terra loses her powers but due to her love for the children of Mobliz, awakens as a human. The party members, sans Shadow who chooses to remain behind, make their way to the airship and fly across the world watching the people amid an effort to rebuild the ruined world.
Creation and development
The developers did not initially intend to create a "world of ruin". Rather, the plan was for the party to save the world and defeat Kefka just as the world was about to be destroyed. However, because the game was coming along more smoothly than expected, the developers could free up time to implement another version of the world after its "end". Yoshinori Kitase had an emotional attachment to Celes ever since he started event planning for the second chapter where they would try to make her the main character.
The World of Ruin serves as the background for the Field Music Sequence for "Searching for Friends". Narshe and the northern mountains and Figaro Castle and the outlying desert appear as specific features in the scenery. Reflecting the World of Balance that serves as the background for "Terra's Theme", where the World of Balance background featured the Phantom Forest, in the World of Ruin it is replaced with a desert.
The World of Ruin appears as a background in a Field Music Sequence.
A live recording of "Dark World" is included on the A New World: intimate music from Final Fantasy album.