A thousand years ago the ancient War of the Magi happened leaving the world a charred husk. A thousand years ago, the Espers vanished from the world and magic ceased to exist. In thousand years that followed, iron, gunpowder, and steam engines took the place of magic, and life slowly returned to the barren land. However, there seems to be someone who would rewaken the magic of ages past and use it to conquer the entire world. This group happens to be the Gestahlian Empire.

The Gestahlian Empire led by Emperor Gestahl discovered the entrance to the Esper World long before the start of the game and kidnapped several of the creatures. With the espers, he discovered a way to drain them of their magical energy and imbue humans and machines with this power. Overpowering the armies of other nations, the Gestahlian Empire conquered the southern continent and began to push into the north with the aim of world conquest.

The story begins with Terra, Brigg, and Wedge marching their way to Narshe as a rumor of an Esper was found in the cave. Upon finding it, Terra is freed from the Empire and is rescued by Locke Cole. What follows is a story of destruction and rebirth. Terra, aligned with the Returners, a resistant group, seek a way to stop the Empire's reign of terror. However, along the way, the Empire and the rest of the world either disappear or is destroyed and all that is left is the Returners and their wide array of personal problems and the constant feeling of hope.

Final Fantasy VI