Hello and welcome to The Starlight Megaphone’s playthrough of Romancing SaGa 3, a JRPG released for the Super Famicom in Japan on 11 November 1995; and later remastered for a world-wide modern-console release on 11 November 2019.
At its launch, the game received solid praise and experienced considerable success for the time. Building upon the earlier release of Romancing SaGa 2, the new game was the last to appear on the Super Famicom, and represented the end of the ‘Romancing’ branch of the SaGa series, incorporating the ‘world building’ features of that subseries. However, in many ways, Romancing SaGa 3 anticipated later developments which would define the ‘Frontier’ branch of the series such as non-linear gameplay and individual character story arcs.
A large cast of characters became one of the hallmarks of the series, and Romancing SaGa 3 pushes the series forward in that regard, with its almost bewildering array of characters–primary and secondary, heroes and villains. The game begins with the player’s selection from one of eight main characters (Julian, Thomas, Mikhail, Harid, Sarah, Ellen, Monica, and Katharina), but this modest selection is supplemented by over twenty playable characters, and an even larger number of support characters, villains, major bosses, and ancillary figures.
Since its original release in Japan, Romancing SaGa has remained the sort of game known only to the devoted group of gamers willing either to learn Japanese in order to play it, or to play it with the assistance of incomplete fan-translation patches. Even The Starlight Megaphone’s resident SaGa fan, Caspius, has not played through much of the game. However, with the 2019 remaster now available, gamers around the world will at last be able to experience a fully-localised, official version of the last of the three Romancing SaGa games.
Apart from the game itself, the soundtrack has been highly praised for years, including by those who have not played the game. Some of the musical compositions push the limits of the Super Nintendo chipset, and–even taken out of their game setting–prove memorable and engaging. The battle music for the SaGa series has always been a high point, and Romancing SaGa 3 is no exception, with a list of tracks guaranteed to put a smile on the face of 16-bit JRPG fans.
With the game being largely unknown to our readers and staff alike, The Starlight Megaphone is especially interested in your engagement with the game in particular and the series in general. Have you played a SaGa game (Final Fantasy Legend I/II/III, Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song, Romancing SaGa 2, SaGa Frontier I/II, or Unlimited SaGa) in the past, or is this your first experience with the franchise? Does this game interest you further in the SaGa franchise; or, how does it compare to other games in the series?
Use the comment thread below to discuss your approach to the game, challenges you have faced, secrets you have uncovered, and what characters you are using in your playthrough. Do you feel that the SaGa series is still relevant given its origins on the Game Boy and its often disappointing performances outside of Japan? Do you find the non-linear gameplay liberating, or directionless? Would you support further remasters from the series, or would you prefer for an entirely new, modern game in the franchise? 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 three weeks:
– Week 1: Complete the RPG Shrine quests appropriate for HP 150-250.
– Week 2: Complete the RPG Shrine quests appropriate for HP 250-500.
– Week 3: Complete the RPG Shrine quests appropriate for HP 500-750.
– Week 4: Complete remaining quests and the game!
Please 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 (use GameFAQs or RPG Shrine if you need a helping hand). Comment and tell your friends!
Without further adieu, it is our pleasure to invite you to join The Starlight Megaphone’s staff members and readers as we jump into the SaGa series for the first time in An Autumn SaGa!