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randombullseye avatar 8:20 AM on 07.09.2010  (server time)
Old School Games: Final Fantasy 3

Final Fantasy Anthology is released late in 1999. Everyday after school I would go next door to hang out and play video games. My neighbors were very much into role playing games, having got me into Final Fantasy VII a year earlier and loaning me Suikoden. I was always a [i]Dragon Warrior and [i]Buck Rodgers Countdown to Doomsday. One day I go over and my friend's older sister is playing Final Fantasy VI. It's part of the new re-release. Being a two game release, I ask to borrow the other game Final Fantasy V. Playing it and finishing it is something I'll never forget, but if only I had gotten to play VI then. So many years went by without it in my life.

Six is the one everybody likes. I can't think of anyone I've ever met who didn't like this. At least that have played it. Something about it is just so great. I'm such a stupid person for not playing it for so long. I would start it up and watch the first scene, sometimes getting into the first battle, quitting. When I finally started it up, I got to the moogle cave and quit! I'm the worst when it comes to RPGs sometimes. Then one summer, a couple years back, I had some free time. Several days that were all free. What was I to do? Oh I know, play the one of best Super Nintendo games! I just happened to have bought it at some point off eBay, when the prices were hilarious, and I needed a moment to play it.

And play it I did. In a classic days long with minimal sleep, cheap pizza, and cases of soda pop style. Wake up. Play Final Fantasy 3. Get a few hours sleep, dreaming about it. Wake up, play more. This was how things went that week. I was so happy. I managed to get into a section of the game known as "ruin." I don't want to tell exactly where or what that is, but its late in the game. I was so close to finishing the game.

Then I decided to check a strategy guide for information. The first time I had done this all game. I was doing so well. I wanted to see when I got a particular party member for keeps. Since I like that job class. I was horrified to learn that I couldn't get him! I was so distraught. My window to play the game was over. This was it. Would I ever finish this up, I thought to myself. And now I find myself three years later writing about it. And how incredible the game was.

The game itself has some difference from most Final Fantasy games. You don't have a single lead character. Instead, you switch between characters and their team at some point. Letting you get to know each one of them. You'll get to know Terra, Locke, Sabin, Shadow and all the rest very well. The story itself actually has some twists and turns you won't expect! The storyline alone is worth playing the game. All the well known scenes are just the tip of the iceberg. If for some reason you put off playing, please play this game.

So many of the little missions in the game are so spectacular that whole articles have been written about them. The one I want to bring attention to is a train segment, I was not specific to ruin the story! Your group has been split off from the other half of the full team. Just three guys put together by chance. They happen upon a forest that's haunted, coming into contact with a phantom train. This train segment lets you get to know all three of these guys, has some really heartwarming moments, and one of the most humorous appearing boss battles of all time! Your three party members end up being chased by this train, fighting it. Possibly the best area of an RPG you'll ever play.

Let's go into gameplay. Much like the previous two games, the active time battle system is in place. This means each character in your four person party wouldn't just wait their turn like in another game, there was a little bar that fills up showing whose turn it is. Enemies attack and do actions with their own invisible time bars, meaning you can't just sit idle. Of course, my most overused phrase ever, of course, you can turn this off in the options.

Much like the other Final Fantasy games is the "Esper" system. Of course, once again an of course, of course this is revealed about a qaurter into the game and opens things up immensely. Once you get to use it, you can customize your characters to have whatever skills or magic that esper has, such as cure spells or attack magics, you use them for so many battles gaining special experience points which let you learn those abilities. Its a bit like the Materia system from VII and later crystal system from IX, letting you really make your party your own.

Speaking of such, my party, once I got to pick from everybody was pretty easy to pick. I had Locke, Shadow, Sabin, and Edger. Those were my dudes of choice for the game. I always ask people who they used in games with lots of characters, and as usual, I used all the coolest male characters. That's just how I roll. I'm never one to use the healing characters, I prefer an all offense team. I've tried to move towards using a support character in my RPG teams, but I can't. I love using tough, all offense characters. Especially the manly men, for some reason.

On the subject of manly men, I doubt I could get through this without talking about Kefka. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, he is the greatest villain in the Final Fantasy series. He's an effeminate clown wizard, who kills innocent towns full of people using his army of robot drivers. No, really. He has a sound effect for his laugh and hilarious animation for that laugh. When I first encountered him, I had no idea what to think. By the time I got to where I'm was when I quit, Kefka had cemented in mind as being the ultimate villain. What he does and says, it always made me laugh. I love Kefka.

I don't want to spoil it, but, there was one female character that I had no connection to at all. She was there, more or less, and I disliked her entirely for not adding anything interesting or having a back story. Then, things happen, and your playing as her for the majority of the second half of the game. At least you start off with her anyway. And the things that happen with her character, take her from being just this throw away "I am a tough girl because I said I was," into being a rounded and human character, with some really introspective moments that are just as heartwarming as anything can be. And I'm a cold hearted bastard, and on top of that, this is a game translated from Japanese in the early nineties.

Look, people embellish and use hyperbole a lot when talking about games. That's how things go. I went into this game thinking I would probably just like it, and I've ended up thinking of it as one of the best games I'll ever play. I'm tired of talking about it, I have to finish the game at this exact moment. It is killing me that I didn't finish it up at that time when I first played it. I'm so busy with a million things, but I can make time for some Final Fantasy 3.

As for sequels, you should know how this turned out. We're up to Final Fantasy XIV, and that isn't counting up all the spin offs. However, none of the games are anything like Final Fantasy III. They all have a single protagonist, despite some brief sections where you play as other party members in VII and VIII specifically that come to mind, none let you really get the full back story and see where every single character is coming from. Even the mysterious ninja character has a cool back story to find in Final Fantasy 3, and ninjas don't need anything more than being a ninja for characterization. And that was where this game really excels, that personal connection that you get with each character. Because your ninja isn't just a ninja, he has something else going on!

There were several versions released beyond the Super Nintendo original release, there was the Final Fantasy Anthonlogy on Playstation one, and a second re-release with re-translation for the Gameboy Advance. There has not been a remkae announced, but seeing that the real Final Fantasy 3 and Final Fantasy 4 had full on N64 looking DS remake, I wouldn't be surprised to see one for six. Or three. Whatever. if you're into that numbering and worrying about it, I'm sorry.

Didn't really touch on that, but it is kind of aggravating that Square or Nintendo called it three, when it was really six, and I'm such a jerk when something is burned in my head as one thing, I can't get it out. I call Dragon Quest, Dragon Warrior and still refer to CDs and DVDS as "tapes. "So for me, this is three, and for some people the real three is three, but not me. I played it on the Super Nintendo, as Final Fantasy 3.





Did you guys play Final Fantasy III (alias VI)

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