• Final Fantasy III Celebrates Its 26th Anniversary

    26 years ago today, the third entry in the Final Fantasy series released for the Famicom. It had some shoes to fill as it was following the highly praised original Final Fantasy and the less than praised sequel Final Fantasy II. Final Fantasy III is one of the less talked about entries. It's not as adored as other games in the series, but it's not actively disliked like Final Fantasy II or the XIII trilogy.

    Final Fantasy III's story is a simple and familiar tale. An impeding force of darkness threatens the world and four Warriors of Light must come to save the world by gathering the crystals. The four playable characters were nameless silent Onion Knights leaving the personality to the game's NPCs. The story of Final Fantasy III I found pretty forgettable. It was just a premise to set the actual game. The one unique thing regarding it was that occasionally you would get a guest party member, but they served only in the narrative sense and would not join you in battles. You could talk to the NPC while roaming the world until he or she would leave you.

    The actual gameplay takes center stage for this game. It was the first in the series to implement a job system that you could switch throughout the adventure while the original Final Fantasy your job choice was locked for the entirety of the game. This would later become the foundation for games such as Final Fantasy V, Tactics, XI, and XIV. You gained new jobs via crystals and the game forced players to try different jobs throughout the journey. In one point of the game you can only access a dungeon via the mini status which you can only inflict by a white mage spell. This was also the first game to introduce summons and the Summoner class. Most summons were bought from shops while the more powerful summons were gained through events. The Evoker class would randomly cast an offensive or defensive based version of the spell while the Summoner and Sage classes cast the summons offensive spell only and were more powerful.

    The balance of jobs leaned more heavily to the later game additions as the game lead a more progressive use of jobs. I found about half the jobs useful and the Ninja and Sage (and Onion Knight only if you leveled up appropriately) as the only feasible jobs in the late game. Final Fantasy III I found to be a pretty challenging game. The game kept you on your toes throughout and as mentioned earlier encouraged you to experiment with other jobs. The only real flaw I found was the lack of save points in the games dungeons. You could only save on the world map in this game and that was fine throughout 95% of the game, but when it came to the game's final dungeon is when it became a burden. The game's final dungeon is very lengthy and it has multiple bosses throughout including the final boss and if you die at any point you will have go through the beginning and likely make an hour or so journey back to the part you left off. It becomes an endurance journey and not one I enjoyed. I managed to beat the game, but with the structure of the final dungeon I am hesitant to return to the game.

    For years Final Fantasy III was Final Fantasy VI for North American and European audiences. They wouldn't get to experience the original until the DS remake released in 2006 and 2007. The remake gave the nameless Onion Knights an overhaul, giving them specific names and genders, but according to the player base they were still devoid of personality so they had might as well remained as nameless Onion Knights. This DS version was also ported to iOS, PSP, Kindle Fire, Ouya, and Steam.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Final Fantasy III Celebrates Its 26th Anniversary started by Depression Moon View original post
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