Okay sure it got a full 3D remake for the DS in 2006, but that's not really the same thing. I want to see what the original game was like in all its low-tech pixelly glory and rule #3 in the column on the right says I can't play a fan translation. But I'm too stubborn to just skip the game entirely and move onto FF4, so I'm gonna do this the hard way: with a chart of Japanese letters and Google Translate.
I bet I don't even make it past the first quest.
These guys were given individual looks and personalities later in the DS remake, so this guy's officially called Luneth now, but I'm giving him my own name because I feel like it.
"I'm all right. Gonna come to a place like it.Oh good, I was worried that it'd come out as complete gibberish. And it did.
What are you talking about. It's good for you began to.
Nephew. I am looking for the exit there was a time to have a quarrel!"
I guess this kid fell into a cave while playing knights with his friends and now I have to find him a way back out. Right after I finish this battle I've been dragged into.
catchy battle music. Which is good because I'm going to be hearing a lot of it.
This still has the same basic turn based battle system from the first two games, with the same giant-sized frozen sprites for the enemies, but it's slightly flashier looking with bouncing numbers to show damage.
Also unlike the last two games, my heroes will finally aim at a different enemy if their target dies during the round before they get a chance to hit him. It really speeds things up.
"Oh?"Well, a bit more sense.
"How do I····?"
"Around here something that I'll rock."
"Speaking of which, I · · · ·"
I kinda hope that chest over there has a potion in it, as I'm kind of surrounded by infinite monsters right now and I only have limited health. The earlier Final Fantasy games always started off at a town where I had access to inns and shops to recover and restock, but in here all I have are these chests.
"Izumi's····"No, don't drink the strange cave water you idiots! What are you doing?
"It is a strange color."
"Let's try a little drink."
"4 people drank spring water····"3 people died. Actually no it turned out they were lucky and it was magic healing water that restored their health. So now I can actually hang around down here for a bit and level my characters up before facing the inevitable boss fight at the end. It's lucky I took a right turn at that last junction really.
BUT THEN, A FEW HALLWAYS LATER.
My only options right now for each character are to attack, defend, run away, or use an item, basically all I can do is hold the button down to select attack each turn, then wait to see if I win.
"Crystal began to shine."Wow, we're the chosen ones! Out of all the people that have fallen into this cave today, we're the crystal's favourites. Sadly I couldn't decipher anything more than that so I stepped onto the teleporter and escaped the cave.
"You guys have been chosen····"
"Hey Crystal talked about why."
This overworld music really doesn't seem very Final Fantasy to me somehow. It's kind of miserable actually, though not as depressing as the FF2's tune to be fair.
I'm going to resist visiting all the marked buildings for now and go investigate the building with a wizard outside it first. I get the feeling that if any plot is going to happen here, that's where it'll be.
Anyway I found some more free healing water in here so it was a good result in the end. Looks like I won't be visiting the inn much in this town.
Also identical items stack in the inventory, unlike in Final Fantasy 2, so I can carry a ridiculous number of potions again.
I guess now I know I'll need to save more often in the future.
I'm not exactly sure what he said when I talked to him, but he seemed to be talking about a secret passage I could open up by activating the candle in the corner. I'm not sure why he'd tell me how to break into his secret vault, but it must mean he wants me to strip the place bare. You know, because we're the chosen ones.
I decided to go with a fighter, black mage, a monk, and a red mage in the end, and look who's making a return appearance! I mean apart from black mage.
Right, time to return to the overworld in search of adventure... just as soon as I've hit the shops again to buy some equipment that my new character classes can actually carry.
BUT THEN, A FEW STEPS OUTSIDE THE TOWN.
Oh I should probably mention that levels are back, after sitting the last game out. I actually liked how FF2 let me develop my characters my own way instead of locking me down to a predetermined upgrade path with stat bonuses applied automatically after reaching the required amount of experience, but I would have liked it more if it wasn't kinda broken. At least in this I don't have to deliberately get my team hurt to increase my health. So yeah, this is definitely a step up.
Either way I finally have a quest!
There's a boulder blocking the exit to the south so I can't go that way, my heroes can't swim so there's no going north, so that just leaves the castle to the west. I think I'll just grind a level or two before paying them a visit though, just in case.
A FEW LEVELS LATER.
"All the people ended up being ghostlike figures by the curse of gin.Wow, that actually seems to make sense. I'm definitely getting the impression that I should be finding and killing this Djinn bloke. I mean I would try talking it out with him instead like a reasonable person, with the intent of discovering what his grievance is and if there's anything I can do about that, but my options in a confrontation tend to lean towards the lethal.
I was saved because I was out on an errand····"
"Innovation I fall asleep on the bed of the princess."The fuck, man? You don't just invite yourself into the Princess's bedroom then have a nap on her bed, I don't care how clever you think you're being. I suppose raiding all her chests was kind of a dick move too but I'm an RPG hero, that's basically my job.
Well this castle doesn't seem like it's where I need to be right now either. A ghost told me I needed to find a mythril ring to trap the Djinn (or maybe he was telling me he had a ring, I honestly don't know) but I've searched every chest in every room in this place and there's no ring here. I guess I'll try the towns again.
BUT THEN, DURING THE JOURNEY BACK...
Oh, if you're wondering why I'm a red mage now, I had to switch my classes around because I gave my first character a Cure spell early on in the game, assuming it wouldn't be a big deal as I could just buy more spells later if it turned out he couldn't use it. And then it turned out that the only spell the shops around here sell is Poisona (antidote), so I had to either make my lead character a white magic user, or else buy a sack full of potions.
A SHORT WALK LATER.
It seems they've changed the magic system from MP back to a Final Fantasy I style spell level system, which surprises me because I assumed they'd stick with MP all the way through until FF8. Each spell is assigned to a level of magic according to how powerful it is, and right now I can cast about 8 spells from the first level and 3 spells from the second level. Well, 7 now, seeing as I just used Cure.
I miss having mana to be honest. Plus I miss earning more max MP by spamming high power fire magic in every battle. See, Final Fantasy II wasn't all bad!
that song from Swan Lake every time she dances.
You know, I've just remembered something: that rock in the cave at the very start. The one I had to use to open a secret wall. BACK TO THE DEAD END, Team Red Mage! We're gonna go pressing action on walls until something opens.
Anyway, I soon discovered that the Djinn had a critical weakness to me beating the shit out of him, and the battle was over before I could even run out of spells. The guy just did not know with whom he was fucking with; I've faced down roaming skeleton gangs, werewolf packs, and countless beserker hordes. And that was just on my walk down to the pub.
You know, I assumed this pretty much looked like Final Fantasy I quality art, with zero improvement in three years. So I thought I'd compare with a similar scene from the first game:
|Final Fantasy I|
It's funny how the English release of FF1 hit shops three months after the Japanese release of FF3. That's basically why 2 and 3 were skipped in the US; by the time they came out it would've been deep within the SNES era and they'd have been hopelessly outdated. Of course that didn't stop Enix from bringing over NES game Dragon Quest IV in late 1992.
"Although I think trying to break the Nerubu Oiwa of meat to Canaan····Not a damn clue what he's talking about, but I did notice that he's called 'Cid'. So that's two Cids I've found so far in the first three games. Screw this place though, I'm going off in my airship.
You may somehow be made of mithril to give players Airborne noon."
Final Fantasy III... actually surprised me. I was kind of expecting to hate it, but it won me over in the end. Like Zelda III and Mario 3 it takes a step backwards to be more like the first game after a slightly disappointing sequel, and it refines the elements that worked. But despite the generic multi-colour clone heroes the game seems to have more depth and story to it than FF2. To be fair though anything's going to seem more involved when you have to type out every line of dialogue into a translator one letter at a time, then try to decipher what it spits back out at you. But either way I spent way more time in this investigating things and exploring than I did backtracking across continents and grinding, and the game was better for it, so I'll give the game a thumbs up and then turn it off forever. Because I just don't have it in me to translate one more NPC message box.
Okay I'm finally done talking about Final Fantasy III now, so if you feel like leaving a comment about the game, my post, the site, or whatever, now's your chance.