Disclaimer: Once again, this is your friendly warning that spoilers will be abound in this post. Funny part about this one though…I had to spoil the story for myself to finish the article.
Yes, you read the disclaimer right, I haven’t finished the game personally. Before anyone says it, no, that isn’t the reason the game ranks low as I actually like many elements of this game and believe me, I’ve put more than enough playtime in the game to become familiar with the game mechanics and the majority of the story development. Also, I have nothing against the first three Final Fantasy games in the least. I simply believe later entries into the series are much better games as a whole as well be explained in the “Why This Game Ended Up Here Section.”
Anyways, now that all of that is out of the way, let’s get to the game! Final Fantasy III was released in Japan in 1990 and was the last Final Fantasy game to be featured on the NES. However, it wasn’t until 2006 until Americans were able to play an official version of the game on the Nintendo DS. The game has also been re-released one more time via the Wii Virtual console in July of 2009.
The American release of the game was drastically different from the original. Not only was the game completely re-designed and re-skinned into a full 3-D game, but the DS version even gave names to the four heroes in the game. Just like Final Fantasy, at first the four characters were simply “Warriors of Light” once again and started out in the game as Onion Knights. The DS version renamed these four as Luneth, Arc, Refia, and Ignus and started them out as “Freelancers” and making the Onion Knight as a secret job to unlock as a nostalgic nod. The beginning of the story is also slightly different in the DS version and that will be reflected in my recap below.
Final Fantasy III though will forever be known for starting several recurring themes that are still present in today’s Final Fantasy titles. It was in this game that several jobs made their first of many appearance in the Final Fantasy franchise, including the Summoner, Dark Knight, Bard, Dragoon (they appeared before, but players never had a chance to become one), and Ranger. Also several jobs that made reappearances from the original Final Fantasy got a bit of an overhaul as it was the first game to feature abilities such as Steal and it was the first game in which you could summon creatures to come to your aid. Not only that, Final Fantasy III saw the first appearances of the Moogle, legitimate sidequests, and a non-static job system.
If Final Fantasy was the foundation of the series, Final Fantasy III could definitely be called the framework.
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