The Locke/Celes Canon

By Margaret Rennie

My fanfic specialty is FF6, and I must've played the game ten times, at least. I'm sort of obsessed, you might say. Now, I don't pretend to know more about the canon of the game than everyone else out there, but I do know one or two things. And I must take exception to a statement I've seen made twice on the message board.

There was no Locke/Celes/Terra triangle in FF6. Sorry; there wasn't. The only "love triangle" in FF6 was in Locke's own heart, being caught between love, guilt and obligation for the lost Rachel, and a growing attraction and affection for Celes, which he initially resisted because of said prior guilt and obligation. He wasn't able to embrace the future, in fact, until Rachel herself gave him permission and told him that he had to move on. ("Today, I set your heart free.") Then, after Rachel's final passing, he walked upstairs to find Celes waiting for him, symbolic of his future.

I agree that in the beginning of the game, things looked as though there might be a Locke/Terra thing. But he stayed with her only as long as he said he would -- until her memory returned. Once a bit later in the game, Locke said he was worried about Terra and wanted the party to go check on her. That scene shows Locke’s protective nature and adds to his character development. It involved no interaction in particular between Locke and Terra.

During the Esper attack, when Locke throws Terra to the floor, he immediately throws Setzer to the floor as well.

And close to the end of part one, Locke offers to go with Terra to Thamasa. Again, there was no interaction between them of any personal import. The most passionate thing he says to or about her is, "She’s not gonna go ballistic again, is she?"

(Note that this scene takes place before by the one where Terra tells Leo that she wants to know what love is. And before the two where Terra declares that her love for the children of Mobliz is the first love she’s ever felt.)

But after Locke met Celes, all his emotional scenes were with her.

We know there was a growing attraction to Celes because of the dressing room scene between them at the opera. And because of the way Locke reacted to Setzer's marriage proposal to Celes. ("You can't marry him, Celes! You just can't!") The scene in Albrook outside the inn was another one. Terra fans like to say that Locke's use of the term "friend" to Celes in that scene is proof that he had no romantic feelings for her. But believing that requires completely ignoring not only the preceding scenes between them, but the scene the very next morning, on the ship, when it was Celes' turn to try to talk to him, and it was Locke's turn to stomp off in a silent huff. This is not the action of a man whose feelings are neutral and disengaged.

Conversely, there are no scenes of a romantic nature between Terra and Locke outside the realm of fan fiction. Not only that, but, ask yourself this. If Terra was feeling anything romantic for Locke, why was she still crying about wanting to know what love is to General Leo, shortly before the WOR? Locke was on that ship at the time. She did not interact with Locke at all. And why did she twice say that she finally felt love, for the first time, when she took the children of Mobliz into her care? She says it both times that you try to re-enlist her in the WOR.

In fact, much is made of the Locke/Celes romance in Square's official Player's Guide to Final Fantasy III, written by Peter Olafson, with information provided to him by Squaresoft's Ted Woolsey and Josh Gabbard. He discusses Terra too, naturally, but there's not even a hint of anything romantic where Terra is concerned.

FF6 is indeed about love, to a great extent, and Sakaguchi has stated that discovery of the various forms of love were an important theme in FF6. Brotherly love for Edgar and Sabin. Maternal love for Terra. And Locke had to discover that love is a living thing, not a state of pain over the irretrievable past.

So, did Locke end up with Celes? Yes, he did, and we know this several ways. One is their respective statements to Kefka, before the final battle.

He: "I have learned to embrace life...and the living."
She: "I've met someone who can accept me as I am."

Logically, and with all the interactions that preceded, who else could they be talking about other than one another?

On the airship, after Setzer has rescued Terra, all the characters shift into little groups, symbolizing the unions that have been created during the game. Edgar and Sabin move to stand next to one another at one railing. Locke and Celes move together at the opposite railing. Strago, Relm and Interceptor (standing in for Shadow, another "hint" that he was indeed Relm's father) group together at the center of the deck. Setzer and Terra stand at the front of the ship alone, each at either side of the wheel.

Everyone's credits are shown individually, except Locke's and Celes', which are shown together. He clings to her hand in a near-fall, as he did during the wreck of the Blackjack, and this time vows that he will not let go.

If you take on Kefka without getting Locke back, it’s Setzer who rescues Celes in the closing credits. Setzer says something characteristically flip. Celes vows that she is going to go find Locke, just before she runs offscreen.

(Similarly, when Celes leaves her Solitary Island, if Cid survives, he says something to her about meeting her friends when she finds them, especially that Locke she has talked so much about, and he chuckles.)

And finally, in the Anthology FMVs, the Locke and Celes scenes are dramatized in the section entitled "For The Lovers." Here we see Locke rescue Celes from her prison room in South Figaro, and we see the opera house, and what Locke was looking for in his opening FMV shot: Celes. She is in the foreground, in her opera regalia, and we see Locke just over her left shoulder, walking toward her.

There are no scenes that feature Locke without Celes.

Terra does not appear in that section at all.

And the FMVs end with a gorgeous shot of Celes, standing in the wind at the ocean’s edge, with Locke’s bandana in her hand. She raises it to her lips and tenderly kisses it. Anyone who can look at that scene and believe that Square meant it as part of a tragic story of unrequited love, is simply determined to see what they want to see, against all logic.

The preponderance of "evidence" in the game is such that one cannot support an argument for a Locke/Terra romance. Too much says there wasn't, and nothing at all says there was.

IcyBrian's Fanfic Resource -- Final Fantasy VI
IcyBrian's Fanfic Resource

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