The identity of Gogo, Final Fantasy VI’s secretive mime, is one of the game’s best kept secrets. Over the years players have surmised that Gogo was Daryl, the dashing airship pilot who crashed without a trace, or Emperor Gestahl, looking for redemption after Kefka destroyed the world. But there’s a wild theory, based on false evidence, that was still the best by far: Gogo was deceased American politician Adlai Stevenson.
In terms of game theories, “Gogo is Adlai Stevenson” ranks up there in raw absurdity. What would a dead politician be doing in a Final Fantasy game? Adlai Stevenson II was an American politician whose career peaked in the 1950s and 60s. He was the 31st Governor of Illinois and ran a failed presidential bid against Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was later made an ambassador to the United Nations. By the time of Final Fantasy VI’s release he’d been dead for 28 years.
In late 2000, a poster on the now defunct Final Final Fantasy Online forums named Claudius Aquilla first posed the theory of Gogo’s identity. Aquilla was fifteen years old and writing a term paper on Stevenson when it clicked. He provided multiple quotes to prove that Gogo was Stevenson.
“I suppose I could wear a hat,” Aquilla claimed Stevenson had said to an NBC reporter in 1952. Stevenson was supposedly referring to his baldness. “The easiest course is to drape my whole body in robes and shawls and hope no one recognizes my eyes.”
In Final Fantasy VI, Gogo wears flamboyant clothing from head to toe. They have hidden their identity from the world. All that matters to them is the art of mimicry. Their obscured nature lead to more reasonable theories at first.
Neither of these characters were mimes though. According to Aquilla, Stevenson had the necessary skills because he’d been a practicing mime during his life. He’d supposedly mentioned it during an interview in 1952 while talking about President Eisenhower’s ability to adapt to new situations.
“Eisenhower copies with the skill of Marcel Merceau,” Aquilla claimed Stevenson said. “I haven’t achieved such levels of mimicry with my own party, but I’m working on it.”
Stevenson apparently even wrote a federal law that made passing reference to government owned, government operated (GOGO) laboratories. The law helped make it easier for federal labs to hand off their technology to nonfederal organizations and entities.
The evidence sounded too good to be true. It was.
Canadian fan ‘WebGraphics’ looked over the information. The Stevenson-Wydler Act did make mention of GOGO labs, but it was written by Stevenson’s son. Every quote was a fabrication. Stevenson was not a mime. He’d never planned to cover himself in robes. He was most assuredly dead. There was no way Stevenson could be Gogo.
“It’s just a joke,” Aquilla told WebGraphics. “Calm down.”
Joke or not, the old theory remains one of gaming’s more creative urban legends. Now if only we could find a way to revive General Leo as well.