I’ve been meaning for a while now to write a post about the town of Zozo in Final Fantasy VI, as it’s just such a weird place. It has elements of a Cloudcuckooland, but is also a den of thieves, and there might well be some social commentary mixed in there as well. It’s a general rule in console role-playing games that you don’t have to fight monsters while in town, unless it’s necessary for the story to progress. In Zozo, however, there are random monster encounters. The town is located near the posh city of Jidoor, and was founded by lower-class refugees from that place.
Many of the buildings are basically skyscrapers, and are perhaps the housing projects of this world.
Aside from one person, everybody in town lies all the time, even about such innocuous subjects as what time it is.
Indeed, there’s a mini-quest where you have to set the main clock based on the opposite of what various people in town say.
The signs lie as well, with places marked as inns and shops not serving these functions at all. In addition to all this, it’s constantly raining. Do the depressing oddities of this town derive from its criminal population, or were the poor people all banished to a cursed area? Considering that there are no signs of any industry, the inhabitants might not have much choice but to resort to thievery.
The party is first required to visit Zozo when Terra, after learning of her Esper heritage, goes crazy and flies there. In order to reach her, your other party members have to climb the highest building, fighting a martial artist named Dadaluma along the way.
Terra is in a room at the top, being watched by an Esper named Ramuh. Later in the game, you can visit the neighboring Mount Zozo by removing the rust on a sign. Didn’t I warn you this place makes no sense?
While it’s not entirely clear, the name Zozo might be a reference to a demon whom various users of Ouija boards claimed to have summoned. It’s also “Oz” spelled backwards and doubled, but I don’t think there’s any significance to that.