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Final Fantasy III (NES)

Final Fantasy 3 NES, FF3
Genre: Role-Playing (RPG)
Perspective: Top-down
Pacing: Turn-based
Setting: Fantasy
Published by: Square Co.
Developed by: Square Co.
Released: 1990
Platform: Nintendo (NES)

Until 2006, Final Fantasy III was the only game in the series that had never been localized in English or released outside of Japan. It was also the only game in the early games in the series that did not have a re-release on other platforms or remakes. For a while, there was a plan to release a game for Bandai's Wonder Swan Color console, but the developers encountered difficulties converting the original game's game cartridge, resulting in numerous delays, and the project was subsequently canceled due to the cancellation of the console's release. For the first time, an improved remake of the game for the Nintendo DS was released in 2006 in Japan and the USA, and in 2007 in other countries. In 2011, a re-edition of the DS version with improved graphics was released on the iOS platform.

As you know, for the series "Final Fantasy" the number "three" is sacred. The sixth part of the game was released in Japan under the number three, in addition, on each of the platforms on which only "Final Fantasy" appeared, three parts of the series were released, if you do not take into account the sidelines. Of course, the part for which the number three was a serial number simply could not be an ordinary event. "Final Fantasy III" is a masterpiece of game production from 1990. This game is the best that has appeared on the NES; a game that has squeezed the maximum of its capabilities out of an aging console, and even more. The game, which until now has not been undeservedly translated into English and has so far only fan translations.

What is Final Fantasy III about? Its plot became the basis of plots for both "Final Fantasy V" and "Final Fantasy X". In any case, even if this is not entirely true, these games have something in common. The world of the game is a planet flooded with water, whose population is enchanted and sleeps at the bottom of the ocean, waiting for the arrival of the heroes. Above this endless ocean soars a flying continent, where people who have escaped a magic dream live. It is there that the heroes appear - four orphan boys who have to collect four crystals of the elements in order to defeat evil and figure out what caused the flood. After all, it is known that in addition to the ordinary world there is also a dark one, which is a counterbalance to the light one. The main idea of the game is that in the world of light and dark, good and evil, there must be the right amount, because when one thing starts to dominate, the balance is upset and catastrophes occur. Agree, not a weak philosophical basis for an eight-bit JRPG. The plot of the game is extremely exciting and non-trivial - a lot of colorful heroes and villains, a lot of dialogues, a huge variety of locations and vehicles. It will not do without an extinct civilization (Cetra!), The legacy of ancient magicians and a mysterious dark force that is the cause of all troubles. The passage takes at least 25-30 hours, which is very, very much for such an old game.

Unfortunately, the main characters in the image and likeness of "Final Fantasy" are faceless and have the name and appearance that we choose for them. However, they at least know how to speak and sometimes even joke. Another feature included in the game, apparently to make the company of heroes seem not so boring - as in "Final Fantasy II" our four side heroes join all the time. True, you can't play for them - they just follow us and make various comments, sometimes useful, and sometimes just funny. There will be quite a lot of such heroes - we can separately mention the reckless princess Sara and the cheerful young adventurer Dash. Well, and, of course, will not do without Sid, who will (naturally) be the designer of flying ships. Unfortunately, the heroes will have to lose many friends (after all, this is "Final Fantasy").

In my opinion, there are only two games on the NES, the beauty of which is not affected by the low power of the console, and which look much better than many 16-bit games. These are, sorry, "Bubble Bobble 2" and "Final Fantasy III". It's incredible that a game released on such a weak system could look so great! The cities, in comparison with the previous parts, occupy just huge areas, now you can go into houses and talk with residents (this opportunity was fully introduced only in "Final Fantasy III"). The cities and dungeons are simply flawlessly designed, and the beauty of the world map and the backgrounds of the battle scenes are simply amazing! The enemies are drawn very well, and our heroes are also very good, because each class should be different from the others.

By the way, about the class system. Many have played Final Fantasy V, but few know that the class system (Jobs), which will later appear in Final Fantasy Tactics, was first used in Final Fantasy III. There, almost everything is the same, only without an overly complicated system of "skills" - each hero can choose a profession to their liking, and then change it at any time. There are a lot of such classes - about the same as in Final Fantasy V. Some of these classes have become know-how for the entire eminent series, say, dragoons and summoners. New professions appear according to the plot, some are necessary for the passage of a certain section of the game. For example, to defeat one of the bosses who are constantly changing their strengths and weaknesses, we cannot do without a "scientist" who easily finds the weaknesses of enemies. In general, "Final Fantasy III" has an amazingly varied gameplay! Heroes have to turn into toads in order to go through some stages, then reduce themselves to the size of a rat in order to escape from prison.

Some major changes have also been made to battles. Firstly (and this is just great!), Finally, when one hero kills an enemy, and the second is targeting the same enemy, his attack is not wasted, but simply transferred to the next enemy. Despite the fact that battles are still turn-based (semi-real-time will appear only in the fourth part), thanks to this innovation, they have become much more dynamic. Now in battle the character can use any item from the inventory, and not just those that are on him. There are a lot of items that can be used to inflict damage on enemies in battle. The magic system has changed dramatically. Most of all, it resembles the system of matter from "Final Fantasy VII", although the word "matter" in the game does not sound. Most importantly, it was "Final Fantasy III" that gave the world Summoned monsters, without which "Final Fantasy" is no longer "Final Fantasy" today. I must say that since the first appearance in 1990, they and their functions have changed little - the same beloved Ifrit, Shiva, Bahamut and other "freaks" and even their attacks remain the same.

"Final Fantasy III" also gave the world the mobs - it was there that these strange, like white winged kittens, creatures first appeared. People, elves, midget midgets, fairies and gnomes also live in an amazing fairy-tale world (the last three races will also appear in "Final Fantasy IV"). And, of course, we cannot avoid meeting with chocobos, which are now found in two varieties - regular and fat! Fat chocobos can be used as a warehouse, giving them extra items to eat that do not fit into the inventory. Well, of course, you can ride on ordinary ones. And besides this, the heroes will have to change a lot of vehicles - a canoe, a Viking ship, four types of flying ships and even a submarine.

Alas, even such a wonderful game could not do without serious flaws. The main drawback of Final Fantasy III is, perhaps, the game balance. It is clear that in such a complex and multi-level game it is impossible to calculate the difficulty for all stages, but still ... The difficulty level seems average at first, but sometimes it is replaced by an extremely high one, and sometimes it becomes too easy. And at the end of the game, when a series of final bosses begins, the difficulty goes beyond any limits. "You fought the Omega Weapon in Final Fantasy VIII"? Well, compared to the final boss in Final Fantasy III, Omega is a baby !! Here even pumping will not save, but only a scrupulous selection of classes and the search for the necessary items. By the way, in "Final Fantasy III" there is just a huge number of optional quests that help you find rare weapons and Summoning Creatures. It is thanks to them that it is still possible to come to the end of the game in a proper form, and not as complete weaklings.

This is how we see the game that closes the era of eight-bit "Final Fantasy". Even despite the considerable age of "Final Fantasy III", it can still attract the attention of any connoisseur of good games. This game has a vivid and memorable plot, interesting gameplay, easy to learn, but also difficult to complete. Final Fantasy III is the best RPG for the NES.