Final Fantasy Countdown: Final Fantasy III
That was really close! Final Fantasy III was almost the series part that would never really have made it to the West. Not only was Final Fantasy III never localized in the Famicom version, just like its predecessor, it was also simply ignored by Square’s remake machinery for many years. While the first two parts were reissued over and over again, part 3 remained the black sheep. It was not until 2006, 16 years after the original release, that the RPG was revised at the endeavors of the then director Hiromichi Tanaka and finally brought to the West.
It’s a real mystery why Final Fantasy III has been neglected for so long. After all, it’s the episode in which, after the humble beginnings of Part 1 and the big, not always-working innovations of Part 2, the series finally found itself. This is where Final Fantasy got its final basis and its basic form, the game represents, so to speak, a blueprint on which ?? to a very different extent, of course? have roughly oriented all later parts. Tanaka himself says, “Final Fantasy III is kind of a base on which the upcoming episodes then built. The combat system, the magic system, the summoning monsters … in Final Fantasy III many of the classic elements have more or less assumed their current form.
Today Hiromichi Tanaka is responsible for the online titles Final Fantasy XI and Final Fantasy XIV.
Indeed, the first summoning spells were in Final Fantasy III, and the first Moogles also appeared here. And in addition to the classic Dungeons & Dragons classes from the debut, there were now countless other, far more original classes that invited you to experiment. In general, the character classes, referred to here as jobs, are the linchpin of the whole game. In the first Final Fantasy you could put together a party before the game started, then the functions of the four heroes were fixed and could no longer be changed. Apart from a general power-up in the middle of the game.
In contrast, Final Fantasy III offers an impressive flexibility for its age. For every fight won, the party receives capacity points with which the heroes can change jobs. And the longer you have a job, the higher the job level and the fewer points the corresponding change costs. With the jobs came special skills for the first time: the thief can steal, the dragoon has the popular jump command and the summoner brings prominently monstrous support into the fight.
Of course, the job system in Final Fantasy III is still in a very early, archaic stage and far from the brilliance and effectiveness that it was to characterize in later parts. Even so, the new ideas for the game and the genre itself were a big step forward.
As progressive as Final Fantasy III was in terms of the game system, the developers rowed back a good bit when characterizing the heroes. Instead of going in search of the classic crystals with four defined heroes with backstories, portraits and names, four generic heroes await you again, which you name yourself. ?? But wait a minute! ??, some might exclaim now … ?? What about Luneth, Arc, Refia and Ingus? These are real characters with all the trimmings. ?? I suppose.