As I mentioned at the start of this post, originally the characters had very little background at all, save for the fact they were not originally from the floating continent. However, even in the DS remake, the characters really don’t gain much more in the way of substance as they are given very minimal personality and a very small backstory.
Luneth was simply adopted by Topapa, the priest of the village of Ur. Arc is Luneth’s best friend. Refia, the lone female of the cast, is an adopted child of Kazus village’s blacksmith Takka. Finally, Ingus is a soldier for the King of Sasune.
As far as personality goes, Luneth is the headstrong yet slightly naive character. Arc tries to be brave, but is shy and prone to being picked on. Refia is a somewhat snobbish type character and honestly plays a role of the token female. Finally, Ignus is the stereotypical strong and brave soldier.
And, well, that’s pretty much it. Every now and then the four will have their personalities show during the game, but it is about it. The four do not have any sort of character progression past coming to terms with the fact they are the chosen ones to save the world. Though, considering that originally these characters were originally made to be generic it was nice for Square Enix to try to give a little bit of something in the way of unique characters for the eventual re-release.
Throughout most of the game, Master Xande is the main villain of note. As with Final Fantasy, Xande’s main motivation is immortality, although his backstory is quite a bit different than that of Garland. Originally, Xande was immortal, but his master, the Great Magus Noah, gave Xande the gift of mortality upon his death, while the other two students, Doga and Unei were given great magical powers.
Xande was quickly driven mad by the thought of dying. He then devised a plan to freeze time by draining the powers of the crystals, thus throwing off the balance between light and dark. After setting up a base at the Syrcus Tower, Xande manages to drain the crystals of Water and Earth. Once he did that though, part of the surface broke off of the surface and became the floating continent, taking the crystals of Fire and Wind with it; however, Xande’s main goal of freezing time, and thus keeping his immortality succeeded. Despite re-obtaining his immortal life, Xande became afraid that people would soon come from the floating continent to undo his work and destroy him and thus continuously sent monsters to the floating continent to keep them at bay, and ultimately destroy the continent.
Once Luneth and company defeat Xande though, the Cloud of Darkness appears and becomes the final obstacle for the heroes to overcome. Not much is known or revealed about the Cloud of Darkness save for a couple of things. Firstly, she came into existence thanks to Xande completely throwing off the balance of Light and Dark by draining the crystals. Secondly, as the heroes defeat the Dark Warriors, they reveal the the Cloud of Darkness then started controlling Xande (possibly I think by playing on his fears that someone from the floating continent would stop him) with the end goal of turning the entire balance of the world to Dark, thus allowing her to completely destroy the world. She seems to have very little motivation for doing this other than the fact she sees on life in the world as pointless as everyone attempts and fights so hard to live despite the fact they will eventually die.
While these two, especially the Cloud of Darkness, are hardly the most memorable villains of the Final Fantasy series, I see the villains of Final Fantasy III, especially Xande, it seemed to be the first real attempt to try to give
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