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The Gestahlian Empire, also referred to as the Magitek Empire, is one of the main empires in Final Fantasy VI. It is a dictatorship that is run under Emperor Gestahl and his three Generals, Kefka Palazzo, Leo Cristophe, and Celes Chere. The Empire's capital and stronghold is the Imperial City of Vector where all of the Empire's facilities reside, as well as the Castle itself. The military is structured with Magic infused soldiers, with Magic drawn from Espers. The soldiers ranks are evident by the color of their uniforms. The three infantry ranks are separated in between the colors green, brown, and black. Soldiers in green uniform are the weakest, whereas soldiers in brown uniform are more advanced. The soldiers wearing black uniforms are Elite Gestahlian Troops which normally lead platoons of troops into battle, or carry out assassination missions. The weaker Green ranked soldiers normally pick fights with the civilians of the city in which they occupy and only attack on foot. Brown ranked soldiers had the ability to wield more weapons and also ride in Magitek Armor. The infantry and Magitek Knight weren't the only thing the Empire had in their possession though. Gestahl single handedly build an Air Force as well in order to defend and attack by air, however they seemed as prototypes since the Empire only unleashed them during their attack on the Floating Continent.
The Gestahlian Empire is the main force to be reckoned with in the world of Final Fantasy VI. It is the strongest nation mainly for the reason that it has what others don't. An organized government with a flourishing technological advancement and Magic Technology. The Empire also has top strategists for battle such as Kefka Palazzo, and the Emperor himself, who can attest for the Empire's success. The Empire's success is also thanks to the Magitek Research Department that is ran by Cid Del Norte Marquez, the same individual who infused Kefka and Celes with Magic.
The Empire has one goal and in simple terms, it's world domination. Gestahl plans on doing this by slowly advancing from nation to nation, taking them over and occupying the area. The Empire has Three Top Generals which command most of the Gestahlian Army to do it's bidding for them, and they are Kefka Palazzo, Leo Cristophe and Celes Chere. Out of the three, General Leo is the only one who refused Magic Infusion and is still a first class ranked soldier. The only opposition the Empire has is from the Returners who are always trying to get in the middle and slow down their process as much as they possibly can.
The Empire managed to strike an assault on the Land of Espers 18 years prior to the story beginning and walked away with a handful of Espers. With the help of Dr. Cid and the Empire's knowledge on Magic, they developed a process to harness Magic for their own sake, and with this newfound power, the Empire became almost invincible. All soldiers had to undergo a Magic Infusion process. Neighboring towns of Vector fell easy with the Empire's newfound power, with the exception of Maranda who put up a fight, and ended up being burned to the ground by Celes.
A lot of other nations suffered from the Empire's reign and occupancy of their towns. Sales and production values of materials and crops went down, as did transportation costs as ports were being held captive and searched, while mostly raided by Imperial Guards. Many nations such as Narshe and Figaro pleaded neutrality with Gestahl in order to avoid conflict, whereas others opposed them like Doma and Maranda, and suffered the consequences. When Celes heard of rumor about Gestahl planning to invade Narshe, a neutral nation, she began questioning her orders, and was imprisoned for treason immediately in South Figaro, the town she was leading an assault on. Locke manages to set her free and he escapes with her, and joins the Returners.
When Locke and the others tell the Espers what the Empire has done to the ones they have enslaved, they become enraged and launch a full frontal assault on Vector, and annihilate the Empire's home base. At this time Gestahl noticing the true power of the Espers pleads with Terra to arrange peace negotiations, but the intentions are disguised. Once Terra reaches Yurra, the Commanding Officer of the Espers, Kefka and Gestahl launch their assault on the Espers once more, and manage to locate the Warring Triads to take over the Land of Espers and raise it as the Floating Continent.
With Gestahl and the Empire now at the epitome of power, Kefka takes his chance to engage in battle with Gestahl for supreme leadership. Kefka wins the duel and kills Gestahl, while using the power of the Warring Triads in order to destroy the world and whatever civilizations remained. The Empire's reign comes to a halt once Kefka becomes a God. It is said that all of the Imperial soldiers die due to Kefka's apocalypse with the exception of the legendary Ziegfried, which can be fought at the Coliseum.
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