on June 6, 2003
I remember Christmas morning staying in my room and playing this game all morning until it was time to eat the big dinner. I just could not put this game down. It had a fairly cinematic opening with Terra, Wedge, and Vicks (an error in translation, he was supposed to be Biggs) traveling to Narshe to capture an Esper. This is still my favorite of all the Final Fantasies, and is one of my favorite games of all time, in any genre.
For the first time since the first game, there is no singular main character. The cast of characters changes throughout the game and even at the end when you can use any character, there is still no main character (most other Final Fantasies had followed one character, Cecil, Cloud, Squall, Tidus, etc). The leads are usually considered to be Terra and Locke, but several other characters can step up to that position: Edgar, Celes, Cyan.
This game has an incredible depth to the story. Like most games, it starts simply and escalates from there. The beginning is Locke, haunted by his past, rescuing Terra from the soldiers of the Empire. Locke is a member of the resistance, The Returners. As the game progresses, it gets bigger, as different cities and characters get involved. The main villain, Kefka starts out only trying to capture Espers and Magicite for the Empire as well as reclaiming Terra. We get to a point and the game branches in three. Three characters get their own segments to return to Narshe and this introduces us to more characters and more of the world and it opens up the story even more. Kefka, Emperor Gestahl and the Empire affects more lives than at first glance.
The story for this game broadens significantly, and as a whole this is the best Final Fantasy game of the series. I know that many people who first started with FFVII think that game is the best, and I do love that game as well, but this is where my heart lies.
on January 22, 2003
There is no way around it. This is the best game of all time. Forget that, this is the best piece of entertainment of all time. Final Fantasy VII comes close, and is often hailed as the best in the series, but the true veterans who have been on board since the beginning know that this is the peak, the monument that defines the realm of RPGs. This analogy is probably overused, but accurate, that FFIII (FFVI J) is for video games what the Tolkien books are for fictional literature. The intricate, perfect, flawless interlacing and balance of art, music, story and gameplay push this above all the competition, no matter what era the contender in question may come from.
Perhaps the most vivid, profound point that FFIII makes is that a good game is not in the graphics, but in the gameplay, which is the soul of a well-designed game. Not to say that the graphics aren't beautiful; released in 1994, the backgrounds, battle engine, and overworld effects are gorgeous, considering it's birthdate. But the gameplay, the foundation of Final Fantasy III, is one of the two main elements that make it the gem of all the industry. There are a ton of items, 255 to be exact, from swords to paint brushes, from plumed hats to paladin shields. One of the best things about FFIII is that most characters are not limited to one type of weapon, as we see in FF VII, VIII, IX, etc. There are indeed limits on who can equip what, but they are very pertinent. For example, Locke, the thief, uses mostly knives in battle. He cannot equip large swords like the Masamune or Sky Render, but he can wield short swords like the Regal Cutlass. Some items abound, and others are one of a kind. Magic and special skills are also plentiful. Every character has his or her own unique ability that can be wielded in battle, and there is a hefty amount of magical spells, including black, white, and gray types. Esper summoning is also available, with each Esper yielding unique attributes and benefits for the characters in battle. Additionally, characters with Espers equipped will learn different types of magic and will receive stat bonuses that reflect the type of Esper the unit is joined with. The system is very efficient and fun.
The story is simply awesome. It's so long, so enchanting, so... smart! There are a lot of links and loops that will make you say "Ah, ha!" Unlike FFVIII (See my FFVIII review to see my opinion on that stinker), you will see motivation. You will see WHY every character acts the way he or she does. Why is Locke so afraid of failure? Why does Cyan nurture a deep, deep hatred for the Empire? Part of the charm of Final Fantasy III is that you are introduced to characters that do things that make you say "Huh?" But later on, you discover the events that shaped and molded their personalities. And the best part is that you feel as if you know them... As if you've always known them.
The music... Oh, the glorious, beautiful, enchanting music! Again, none of the other titles can match up against this score, though VII and IX give it a good shot. Folks, you cannot beat this! We have an opera. We have a well-thought theme designed for each character, made specifically to convey to you their love, fears, hopes and pain. We have music that compliments whatever environment you may venture through. You'll be hard-pressed to find any other game that attempts this, and you will NEVER find one that does it this well.
There you have it. The power, the raw passion emanating from this little cartridge is astounding. No game has lived up to it, and though that day will eventually come, this masterpiece will still stand as one of the best pieces of entertainment in all the history of man.
on May 15, 2003
Where do you start when writing a review of this game? How do you actually review and still do justice to a game which boasts such fantastic, unprecedented brilliance? How do you describe in words its absolute magic, which reels you in and never lets go, from the first intriguing minute right up to the spectacular finale that will leave you gasping for breath?
Perhaps we should start with the characterisation. With an impeccable, varied cast of 14 playable characters, there isn't much more that you can ask for. But what are characters without personality, emotion or being? Here, your characters are not merely disposable, faceless pawns; as the game progresses, you discover their inner selves, the dark secrets that their pasts hide. Unlike many other RPGs, characters aren't made of flimsy cardboard; they have feelings, reasons for the things they do. They change and grow with the unfolding storyline, sweeping you along with them. Who is Gau, the boy raised and bred by monsters, and where did he come from? What bond does Terra share with the magical Espers, and what part does she play in the evil, mercenary Empire's plans? And don't forget the other members of the cast; General Leo, who becomes disillusioned with the Empire and forsakes it, at the cost of his own life; the double-faced, scheming Emperor Gestahl, whose heinous plans eventually backfire, damning him to his own destruction; and of course the inimitable Kefka, the central lackey-turned-villain of the game. Wacky, obsessed and absolutely nuts, he is often referred to as the "Clown Prince of Darkness", destroying the world and loving every minute of it. How many villains spout lines like "I will create a monument to non-existence!", "Son of a submariner!" and the one that will go down in the hallowed halls of RPG immortality, "You guys sound like chapters from a self-help booklet!" Never has a better RPG villain been created, and probably there never will be one.
Gameplay also gets top notch scores. Final Fantasy III exhibits a stunning reportoire of spells, attacks and special abilities. There are well over 300 spells, ranging in power and usefulness. Each character also has an unique ability that you can manipulate, ranging from the linear (Locke's item-snatching ability) to the downright outre (Relm's Sketch, which produces an exact replica of the opponent with a magical...paintbrush?!). Characters are not merely restricted to one or two spells; with the use of magic-teaching Espers and abilities like Rage, you can have access to as much as 100 spells at a time. You have almost complete control over who does what. The flexibility is incredible.
What about the music? Nobuo Uematsu, with the release of Final Fantasy III, must immediately be elevated to the status of divine being, and be seated on a golden throne in the heavens, flanked by an army of ambrosia-bearing servants. His solely composed score features some of the best music to ever be created (RPG or otherwise), fully utilising the limited (and rather pathetic) capabilities of the Super Nintendo sound system to its absolute best, creating a masterpiece of interwoven drums, flutes and strings. It's difficult to explain how the music perfectly complements each scene, or how a theme was made for every character that suited each one to a perfect tee. Who could forget the hilarious, synth-dripping Techno de Chocobo, the Opera House's Aria de Mezzo Caraterre (horrible singing and all), the 17-minute, tension-laden dramatics of Dancing Mad, the music for the final face-off with Kefka and his pillar of cronies, or (my personal favourite) the music that accompanies the grand finale, which blends each character's theme into one seamless, beautiful piece?
The only area in which the game warrants dissent is the graphics. It's not that they're truly awful; in 1994, when the game was first released, it probably would have knocked gamers off their seats, but with the advent of new, powerful 3-D capable consoles the visuals just can't cut it. But the other aspects of the game, as detailed in the rant above, more than make up for the inadequate graphics.
Squaresoft, take a bow. What you have created is more than a game. It is an all-out experience.
on June 3, 2004
Before i begin, I would like to say that this is by far the greatest game i have ever come across (and i have come across metroid, mega man, and chrono trigger). this game never gets old (unlike the new final fantasys), and produces maximum fun to the gamer (unlike the new final fantasys). another victory for squaresoft.
Onward to the review....
I have never given a game a 10 out of 10, but this game deserves it. this game circles around the magic Espers, creatures that contain large amounts of magic and power. An evil being named Kefka seeks after these espers, and drains power out of them until they are obselete. a small rebel resistence force battles against him in a long battle which later on becomes a battle for the human race's survival
The characters were not that bad, but there were some that were terrible. that is okay, as you rarely ever have to play with them. i am judging the characters by not only their usefulness in battle, but their personality also
TERRA BRANFORD-7.5/10- an interesting character who sulks a bit much, but DEFINATELY not as annoying as selphie from FF8. an early magic user, and can transform into an esper
LOCKE COLE-9/10- a sly theif who is dedicated to his promises. can steal items from enemies during battles
EDGAR RONI FIGARO-9/10- a ruler of figaro castle(...). uses useful tools in battles
SABIN RENE FIGARO-10/10- super cool, super funny bodybuilder, who uses strong "Blitz" attacks during battles
SHADOW-8/10- your uncommon loner ninja with quite a past who will "slit his momma's throat for a nickel". he can throw swords and items during battle.
CELES CHERE-9.5/10- she is pretty cool, and really useful during battle, as she can absorb magic
CYAN GARAMONDE-8/10- a persistant devious character. during battle, he can use certain sword techniques, some proving rather powerful
GAU-4/10- a useless character who acts like my 7 year old brother. he can permanently copy and use enemy moves (once again like my brother :)
SETZER GABBIANI-9/10- a sly gambler who has a ratherinteresting personality. he can perform a "slot" move during battle
STAGO MAGUS-3/10- another worthless character who is extremely weak even in his "lores" which he can use in battle
RELM ARROWNY-5/10- an annoying little girl who wants her way with everything. can "sketch" and "control" enemies in battle
GOGO-7/10- This person has no personality and says nothing during the entire game. He copies off of ANYONE during battle
MOG-6/10- interesting character, but not annoying like the moogles in FFIX. can "dance" during battle
UMARO-8/10- one word monster who is quite strong, and good for battle. He has no special move for battle
this is where the game gets its highest scores. The non-stop fun of playing continues on from beginning to end (except for the squid ultros, i thought that was tedious). your party consists of four characters, each being different in battle, and you battle enemies that are not insanely hard, but not easy, and still producing fun to the gamer. the summons, while not proving that much use at all, dont take the usual full minute watching stupid animations such as the later final fantasys.
for a super nintendo these graphics are superior. compared to final fantasy 2 these graphics are superior. not much else is to be said here
MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS 10/10
I am in love with the battle theme song for this game. not only is it extremely catchy, but it is very memorable. the boss music isnt that great, but dont get me wrong, its memorable. In my opinion however, i think that squaresoft should have taken the boss theme music from final fantasy 2 and beefed it up, as final fantasy 2 has the BEST boss theme music.
For sounds, they are phenominal. they have different types of sounds for different swords, whips, ninja stars, throwing darts, and more. when you block an attack with your sword, it really sounds like two swords are being crossed. when you block with a shield, it really doesnt sound like it, but it makes a nice noise nonetheless.
REPLAY VALUE 10/10
I have had this game since i was 6, and I have beaten this game time and time again and yet i still want to play it. i have never played final fantasy anthology, but it sounds real nice so im gonna get it. my thoughts tell me that the super nintendo version is the way to go however
A little emotional something as i leave....
the first time i ever beat this game, which was a long long time ago, i encountered a feeling that made me feel rather sad but blissful, sad because there is no more to play of this game, blissful because the storyline and ending gave me the feel of true fantasy. after beating this game time and time again, i bought final fantasy 2. when i beat it, i did not get that same feeling even though it was a great game. after that i bought final fantasy 7, and i barely got any feeling at all. after purchasing and beating final fantasy 8, i felt extremely happy to beat and be rid of that crappy game. now i am working on 9, hoping to beat it and get that same feeling again, which i probably will not get, because final fantasy 3 is a ONE OF A KIND game
on January 24, 2012
I remember back in elementary school when I first played this game. N64, Sega Saturn, and PS1 were all the rage, but I was stuck with the SNES as my dad didn't quite understand my love for video games, and there was no way I could cough up that sort of money for a new console.
I remember when I first rented Final Fantasy VI from a local video store around the age of 8 or 9. I put the game in the system, turned it on and... had no idea what to do. This strange concept of "random encounters" and "leveling up" was completely foreign to me as I was so familiar with the basic platformer, puzzle, and racing game. I remember returning the game earlier than expected simply because I thought it was ridiculous and made no sense as a video game. All I wanted to do was jump into an accessible game and have tons of fun.
About a year later, my neighbor got a copy of the game and eventually showed me the basics of how everything worked. As soon as I got the hang of it, I was in for something that would ultimately change the way I looked at video games and storytelling in entertainment as a whole.
As I said earlier, I was so accustomed to the basic platformer and racing game ect.. I had never really experienced a full blown, deep story in a video game. In movies, yes. In books, yes. But video games? I didn't think there was such a thing. My friend and I eventually started a game together, and as this game was multiplayer (as in both of us controlled different characters in battle) this was quite exciting to me as a newcomer of RPG's.
Long story short, as a child, this game made me feel emotions I never thought possible through a video game. The games storyline is absolutely brilliant, and the characters are some of the most memorable in all my years as a gamer. It was so much darker and deeper than anything I could think of at the time. Dealing heavily with death, war, love, tragedy, beauty etc.. Embarking on this enormous adventure with my friend eventually became one of the most nostalgic memories of mine. I remember thinking of all those wonderful stories I read and how this game was like a giant storybook brought to life by the brilliant minds at Squaresoft. Just the name "Squaresoft" evoked feelings of excitement and eagerness after playing FFVI. Another reason this game shines so brightly is because of the astounding soundtrack that fits seamlessly with the game. I won't get into too much detail about the music, but simply put, it's stellar.
The enemy and character artwork are both beautiful and frightening. Amano's artwork added so much beauty and eeriness to this game with amazing attention to detail for a 1994 SNES game.
This game sparked my interest in RPG's and inspired me to seek out other RPG's that would draw me in with their captivating stories and characters. It seems that everything just fits perfectly together with this game. As I'm generally a huge fan of the "original" in terms of creative works, I would generally be against any tinkering with original pieces of art, including this game of course, but after recently playing the remake of FFIV for the Nintendo DS, I would love to see some sort of remake of FFVI with updated graphics. I just hope the new developers will be extremely careful in updating this game and maintain the feel and vision of the original. Here's to wishful thinking!
on June 4, 2014
There's very little I can say about this game that hasn't been said before. What I CAN say, is as someone who's played every version of this game released state-side, that this particular version still holds the dearest place in my heart. There's something to be said about playing a game the way it was meant to be played- an SNES, with no load times, no un-needed, forced-in cut scenes, a beautiful score and graphics that were unbeatable at the time. To this day it remains one of the best RPGs I've ever played, with the most endearing characters, subtly terrifying villains, and more than a few laughs in between. (No spoony bards, though.)
If you're on the fence about buying this game, all I can tell you is that it's one title that's never lost its original magic, no matter how many times I play it, and it's worth every last penny.
on April 19, 2011
A thousand years ago, the power of magic was harnessed in a terrible war that threatened the entire world. Now an evil empire is trying to use that mystical power to conquer the world, and only a few brave adventurers stand in its way...
I first played this game in high school when a friend lent it to me. I hadn't played a Final Fantasy game since the first one (which I had never beaten), but I had recently seen the trailer for Final Fantasy VII, which had captured my interest. So I borrowed Final Fantasy III (in Japan Final Fantasy VI) for a few weeks. And that is how I fell into one of the greatest fantasy adventures I've ever encountered.
Everything about this game is done perfectly. The world of Final Fantasy III is a great fantasy setting, a steam-punk world of magic and swordplay, threatened by a rising evil. The gameplay has everything you could want in an RPG: great character building, cool weapons and armor upgrades, magic spells and creatures to summon to your aid. And an airship that lets you take to the skies on your adventure.
The characters are memorable. Locke, the "treasure hunter." Terra, the young heroine who wields the terrifying power of Magic. Shadow, the mysterious ninja. Cyan, the tragic knight. Sabin and Edgar, the twin princes of a rebel kingdom. Celes, the Magic-infused former knight of the Empire. And the rest of them... (Is it just me, or do they not make RPGs with characters this awesome any more?) And then there's Kefka, the jester/wizard villain of the piece, who sinks to unimaginable depths of wickedness over the course of the story, finally becoming perfectly evil and wielding godlike powers of destruction, which he uses whimsically on a world that cowers in fear of him. By the time you face him in the end, you want to defeat him like no game villain you have ever fought before.
The story is epic. Uncovering the mystery behind the force known as "Magic," fighting the Empire, learning the pasts of the characters who are the games heroes, seeing the rise of Kefka...everything unfolds like a storybook fantasy. And when the world gets destroyed...you are only halfway through the game! There is still a story to tell, of the champions of a ruined world, and their last stand against ultimate evil.
(If you are looking for this game on a different game system, it has been re-released in "Final Fantasy Anthology" for the Playstation and as "Final Fantasy VI Advance" for the Gameboy Advance. Both versions are good. Final Fantasy VI Advance has a bit of added content, and some translation changes, including the song Celes sings in the famous Opera House scene.)
This is as good as RPGs get, a classic that deserves every drop of the love fans have for it.
on May 11, 2011
As the title of this review states, this may well be the greatest RPG of all time, if not for the Super Nintendo or any other Nintendo console. All of the characters in this game are two dimensional sprites, but their personalities are all three dimensional. With some of the most moving scenes I've ever seen in a game (Celes's attempted suicide and Locke's trying to revive his girlfriend Rachel, just to name a couple), it is definitely worth the money (I paid 30 bucks for this). But the undisputed star of the show is Kefka, the main villain. Kefka is an evil mage who literally destroys the world and becomes a godlike figure midway through the game. Not only that, but his nihilistic nature and his typical demeanor makes for some of the greatest, most hilarious quotes from any video game. Five freakin stars.
on July 18, 2005
Out of any RPG (or any genre of game), this game has the strongest storyline of all. Sure the graphics are pretty poor, but they aren't bad considering it's SNES! There are many characters to choose from as the story progresses and all of them have different abilities and personalities.
I think that FFIII (or FFVI) has the best music out of any FF game as well! Even though it all has a very old midi sound to it, it is very effective and well put together.
So many twists and turns happen throughout this game that you can't possibly get bored. It's incredibly well done and I have to say that it is one of the best games out there!!! I HIGHLY recommend it.
on August 16, 2010
Initially released on the SNES to North American audiences as Final Fantasy III, this game is actually the sixth title in the illustrious series. Console jRPG games were very much a niche genre for Western markets in the late eighties and early nineties. Consequently, only those titles with the greatest revenue potential were ported outside of Japan; hence the numbering disparity in Final Fantasy's initial offerings.
While this release was later ported to the PSX as part of Final Fantasy Anthologies and later debuted with a revised, re-translated stand-alone version on the Game Boy Advance, the gem of owning the actual SNES cartridge is a matter of holding gaming history. No other comparable game of the time and genre offered the quality of music, gameplay, plot, character development and graphics that this particular Final Fantasy did. The hauntingly beautiful steampunk world rendered in two-dimensional sprites is juxtaposed well with the mesmerizing soundtrack: faux vocals, symphonic arrangements and techno pop are but a few of the melodies presented that push the SNES hardware to its limits. The first Final Fantasy to truly depart from the long-standing plot device focused on crystals and (to date) the only title to present a cast of no less than 14 permanent playable characters creates a story that does not assume its audience to be children. The translation by Ted Woolsey is a highlight: many classic lines and personality traits of the characters come to the fore in this version of the script, so greatly influencing the game's legacy that later translations would retain elements from it.
What went into this title became the benchmark by which to judge future releases in the genre: the ground-breaking role of the game is revealed in every release after it that draws its points of inspiration here.
Anyone with a love of the Final Fantasy series who owns a functioning SNES but not this game would do well to acquire a copy.