Centuries ago, evil beings created powerful creatures called Espers, and unleashed them on each other. The resulting battles left his world like smoking rubble. Legend has it that the Espers destroyed themselves and most of humanity. The magic disappeared forever.
Centuries have passed and now a rational world exists with Espers living only in myths, until a frozen solid is unearthed from ancient wars. Suddenly, there are reports of magical attacks on civilians. Imperial commandos launch raids using MagiTek weapons with magical power. Magic is obviously alive and the world is in danger again. Who or what is behind the rediscovery and redeployment of this legendary power? What chaotic plans are there that will wreak havoc on this orderly world?
Final Fantasy III is one that many consider the classics of role-playing games. Released as Final Fantasy III for the SNES in 1994, it is actually the sixth installment in the immensely popular Final Fantasy series produced by Squaresoft. The game takes place approximately 1000 years after the end of a great war called “The War of the Magi”, which wiped magic from the face of the world.
It is a typical turn-based RPG in which the player is in control of more than 15 playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and different fighting styles and stories to tell. The main character is a young half-human, half-Esper who is trying to find her place in a world torn by war. The main villain of the story is one of the most colorful villains in the Final Fantasy series, a rather funny clown named Kefka.
Joining forces with him are a few other military-style villains with minor roles and even a few NPCs who get involved. There are many plot twists that include cut scenes involving characters that allow the player to have a “real time” feel with the story. The characters have “expressions” that, while very basic, convey to the player the general theme of each scene. In my opinion, this game is perfect for the gamer who wants to see some of the best that SNES has to offer in terms of role-playing games.
How to Play:
When it comes to SNES games, there are only 1-2 games as fascinating as Final Fantasy III. All the elements that make the other games in the series fun are here. The player can rename every character in the game, including the ever-present summon (called Espers in FFIII).
There are a multitude of side missions in the game that range in difficulty from easy to hard in terms of time and participation to complete, and the level of commitment required to complete the game can range anywhere from 25 hours. To finish the central story of the game, it can be up to 100 hours or so. This is if you want to get what’s called a “full” gaming experience, which means gathering all the most powerful weapons, armor, and magic, and also leveling up characters to max levels.
The only reason the game does not score a 10 in this department is the fact that while leveling up characters is not an issue early and mid-game, once a character reaches the higher levels (above 60), it becomes a very important moment. A tedious and tedious process to level up the character, sometimes it takes hours and hours to raise a character just one level. This, I would say, is the main common problem with RPGs of this era. But, if you don’t mind that kind of monotony, this game is for you.
Final Fantasy 3 characters offer a series of clever individual attacks. Each character has their own special talents and the player can choose to use each character’s talents or simply ignore them. An essential part of every Final Fantasy is magic, and this game is no exception. There are a multitude of magics available for the player to use, each learned by equipping certain Espers.
The longer an Esper is equipped, the more magic is drawn from the Esper and once the Esper’s learning curve reaches 100%, all available magic from that Esper is learned. Some magic can be learned from two to four Espers, while other magic can only be learned from a specific Esper. This causes Esper to use a conscientious thought process. The player must plan the use of Espers to learn the necessary spells.
Again, I am comparing this to other SNES games. This game is 2-D. Plain and simple. It features a 3/4 aerial view 90% of the time and also features an overworld that has since been virtually eliminated from most RPGs. Graphics were considered cutting edge in 1994 when this game was released. There are rich color textures and very good use of the SNES Mode 7’s graphical capabilities in both scale and rotation, which are especially displayed when the characters use the aircraft for transportation.
As far as actual graphical representations go, the game is 2-D, so if you expect to see walking, talking, fully rendered in 3-D, you’re out of luck. In scenes where the graphics are made to be inflated or zoomed in, they become pixelated the larger they get. These issues aside, the graphics of its time, compared to other games at the time, were considered quite advanced.
This is where the game shines. The score is huge! Created by the world famous Nobuo Uematsu, there are at least 100 different songs in the game (including interpretations of the main theme) and it also includes a scene with one of the earliest examples of voiced “singing” in video games. The songs feature 128-note polyphony and a beautifully detailed musical story. Because the game’s dialogue is text-based, the music allows the player to engage on a more emotional level with this game and the characters than many other games at the time.
There’s a great mix of deep bass, singing strings, and synth keyboards to keep the listener enthralled and engaged throughout the game. There are very few songs that last less than five minutes without repeating, so the player never has the feeling of boredom and monotony that often accompanies SNES games.
There are very few games that can sit for years on a shelf and then play again with the same level of commitment and enjoyment as Final Fantasy III. The game is as much fun the rest of the time as it was the first time. In fact, with all the side quests and the obtainable items, weapons, armor, and magic, the game might just be one of the most difficult RPGs ever made for the SNES to get “perfect” or 100 percent complete gameplay. There are always ways to increase the difficulty of the game and make each play a unique experience.
Not exactly the most advanced in games, this game has the very familiar theme of “fight monsters and win levels before fighting the final boss and saving the world”. While the Action RPG player will find this game very repetitive, the turn-based RPG fan will love it.
Having a woman as the main character in the game is a concept that wasn’t used long before Final Fantasy III. This seemed like a risky idea, but Square pulled it off perfectly. Also, with all the other characters in the game, the stories unfold quite well for each character. This adds to the depth of the game, as well as the concept of entertainment.
If you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series, a collector of old games, or a person who is interested in getting involved in the series but is concerned about the complexity of the newer Final Fantasy titles, this game is for you. Final Fantasy III is ideal for both the “old school” gamer and the “newbie”. It has a great story, a great sound, and it will take over your life for a few days if you let it. The characters are original, they have a lot of different abilities to use, and they have emotions that make playing this game really cool.
NPCs seem to have more of an impact in this game than most and the main characters are some of the most imaginative I’ve come across. The cities are spread out, the graphics are attractive, and the sound is rich and vibrant. The story plays out well and from the opening cutscene, most of the players are hooked. The enemies are varied and numerous and the bosses difficult but not impossible. I recommend this game to anyone with an SNES.