03 Final Fantasy III

Call me butter, ladies and gentlemen, because I’m on a roll.

I finished the story of Final Fantasy III on Day 46: February 15, 2015.


When I played Final Fantasy III on the DS a few years back, it took me a couple honest attempts before I got into the groove and started enjoying it. It seemed to be fairly slow-paced, the job system was pretty new to me, and the characters just didn’t seem very interesting. But then, at the time it was the only “early” Final Fantasy title I had played.

Now that I’ve played I and II, I can see just how much FFIII improved upon its predecessors. As I’ve stated in weeks prior, the plot just rolls on. You may get stuck here or there when trying to figure out how or where exactly to find your next bit of story, but I was never looking for long before I found my destination.

Plus the cast of side characters were varied and interesting – more interesting than your party, in all truthfulness. They’ve got life, they’ve got emotion, and they’ve got purpose past just needing you to do them a favor. In fact probably the most unfortunate part of Final Fantasy III is your team of four Warriors of Light, pretty much recycled exactly from Final Fantasy. Again, the perk of the job system is that you can make your team whatever you want them to be, but that still doesn’t change the fact that they’re essentially robots. No personality, no development, and no reason to really care about them aside from the fact that they are the heroes.

Okay, I lied, there’s one more thing I have to whinge about – the final chapter. When I gave up on the DS game, it was due to losing against the final boss after having tracked her down through more than an hour of dungeon crawling without a save point. I lost the levels I’d gained in that time, was still confused about the area’s layout, and altogether had no desire to try again to complete the game I had dumped 30+ hours into.

Fast forward to my current playthrough, and I’m wiping the floor with every standard enemy I encounter, especially after unlocking the final two special jobs, Sage and Ninja. Brilliant jobs, those are. Anyway, a couple of the not-the-final-boss boss fights in the endgame gave me a welcome challenge, but even Zande/Xande went down without much effort. Yet when I got to the Dark Cloud, suddenly my DS quest was flashing back like my own personal Vietnam. She was slaughtering my party, and I was barely able to revive them before they got killed again.

Eventually I gave up, and was resigned to having to grind for another day or two before wrapping the game up, when John (the only one left alive) took her down with his final attack on his final turn before being slain himself. It was righteous and amazing, and I couldn’t believe it. The problem with this – the insane difficulty curve.

I understand this is the final boss, and the final boss should most definitely be challenging. But generally the preceding temple/cave/tower/whatever is filled with boss-level enemies, chipping away at your sanity and health as you make your way to the real challenge at the end, whereas this “Eureka” I was in presented nothing of the sort. It made me cocky and overly confident, and almost led to me downfall for the second time, on a separate playthrough, at the same battle. Perhaps that’s brilliance. Perhaps that’s shit. Whatever it was, I didn’t like it.

Of course, playing an emulator was an unexpected lifesaver, as it allowed me to save anywhere I wanted. It’s a bit cheeky, I admit, but I’ll be damned if I was about to let the same thing happen again.

At the end of the day I’ve heard lots of people complain about Final Fantasy III in the past, and after playing the two prior to it, my only complaints are listed above. Aside from them (and I would honestly consider them pretty negligible at the end of the day) this game is miles ahead of I and II. It may not meet the standards of games today, and having played the DS version previously I can see why some would consider it inadequate, but as of April 27, 1990 it was most definitely the best Final Fantasy in the series. I am happy to have played it through to completion.

Time to complete: Uncertain – no timer present – Estimated ~35-40 hours
Modes of transportation: Walking/Running, Airship (Cid’s), Chocobo, Canoe, Airship/Boat (Enterprise), Airship/Submarine (Nautilus), Great Airship (Invincible)
Chocobos: Present! Found in various Chocobo Forests around the world; Chocobo summon and Fat Chocobo also introduced.
Mogs/Moogles: Present! Unnamed creatures that act as Dorga’s assistants and helpers.
Overworld: Yes.
Summons: Present! 8 available to purchase and/or defeat.
Cid: Present! An Airship creator who assists the party at various points throughout the game.
Biggs & Wedge: Not present.

Notable series firsts:
Introduction of summons. First game with moogles/mogs, though they are not given that name yet. Job system introduced. Fat Chocobo first drops onto the scene.

Current ranking:
1) Final Fantasy III
2) Final Fantasy
3) Final Fantasy II

Now here we go with the final tweets of Final Fantasy III. I took a few days off from the marathon to wind down a bit and prepare for FFIV, so there is no coverage for days 47 through 49.

DAY 043 – Final Fantasy III

DAY 044 – Final Fantasy III

DAY 045 – Final Fantasy III

DAY 046 – Final Fantasy III

Catch up on previous updates and my FAQ here!

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