Welcome to our playthrough of Final Fantasy III, originally released in Japan for the Famicom in 1990, with a worldwide remake released for the DS, PSP, and iOS/Android.
When Square released Final Fantasy on the Famicom in 1987–famously as a last-ditch effort by Hironobu Sakaguchi to revive the flagging fortunes of himself and his company–it is unlikely that they expected demand to be so great that they would go on to produce two sequels for the Famicom, let alone a veritable avalanche of further titles in the series which continue to this day. However, those early days of Final Fantasy were formative for the series, establishing series concepts which would return in later games, eventually becoming central to the concept of Final Fantasy itself. The 1990 release of Final Fantasy III was significant in its inclusion of creations from Final Fantasy II such as Chocobos, airships, and the character Cid, which helped to ensure their centrality to the Final Fantasy series.
But Final Fantasy III was itself an innovative title, forging genuinely new ground with its Job System–now a series mainstay. Although the original Final Fantasy had employed generic characters with classes derived (like the monsters and setting) from Dungeons and Dragons, Final Fantasy II had abandoned that approach in favour of named characters who developed individually in response to their actions and to the damage inflicted upon them, rather than based upon a class to which they belonged. Final Fantasy III, therefore, could have gone either way: that it did not changed not only the fate of the game itself, but the series. For, as a result of the sucess of Final Fantasy III, the Job System returned again in Final Fantasy V, X-2, XI, XIV, and Tactics, has been seen in various forms in spin-offs including Four Heroes of Light and Bravely Default.
The plot of Final Fantasy III was edited slightly in the remake. In the original release, four nameless children fall into an underground cavern wherein they encounter a crystal which encourages them to pursue their destiny. In the remake, only Luneth experiences those first scenes, and he encounters Arc, Refia, and Ingus in the course of his own story. Together, the four will face down an evil that threatens not only their world, but all worlds, as they become the LIGHT WARRIORS.
Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what you are getting out of your playthrough. Do you feel that the Famicom presentation of Final Fantasy III has held up since its original release in 1990? Or, do you prefer the aesthetics of the recent remake? How have your experiences with the Final Fantasy series, and other prominent JRPGs released after Final Fantasy III, affected your impressions of the game? Tell us all about it and join in our discussion below! We will select some of the best comments, each week, for our podcast discussion.
The aim in this playthrough is to complete the entirety of the game in four weeks:
– Week 1: Obtain command of the Enterprise.
– Week 2: Gain the powers of the Water Crystal.
– Week 3: Gain the powers of the Earth Crystal.
– Week 4: Complete the game.
Feel free to join in, even if you are behind on the playthrough. Anyone and everyone is invited to participate, regardless of speed of play or familiarity with the series. Remember to comment, and please tell your friends!
Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to invite you to join the The Starlight Megaphone staff members, guests,
and readers as we seek out the crystals in Eternal Winds: A Final Fantasy III Playthrough!