Review by MisterMarioMan

"Is anyone else tired of fighting Ultros?"

Final Fantasy III is a truly outstanding game, complete with a great cast of characters and an amazing story. The game was far beyond it's time in terms of game-play and interface, and included many elements still included in games today(such as an interface to choose whatever characters you wish, a free-roam environment accessed halfway through the game, and many other unique features. The game was ahead of it's time in many ways and still stands the test of time today.

The story of the game is one of the areas where the game truly shines. When it starts, you play a young girl gifted with magical powers who can't remember anything. She escapes a town that hates her with the help of a daring adventurer who introduces her to the returners, a group which is attempting to take down the evil empire, who is responsible for the girls memory loss. While trying to fight the empire, you meet many great and interesting characters and eventually discover the amazing truth behind the girls mysterious past. It's a fantastic and greatly appealing story which still to this day is considered one of the best in gaming history.

The characters of this game all really do their part to sell the amazing story. The story starts with Terra, a young girl with magical powers and no idea how she got them. She's saved from city guards by a daring treasure hunter(As he so likes to be called, in reality he's just a thief), Locke, who takes her to see the great king of Figaro Castle, Edgar. Edgar is a brave and noble man who sides with Terra, Locke, and the returners to fight against the empire. You meet many other great characters, including Sabin, a hot-head bodybuilder who also happens to be Edgar's brother, Cyan, a mighty warrior of Doma Castle who joins you after his castle is ruined by the empire, and Gau, a young boy whose been raised by wolves and joins you simply because you give him food. The characters are simply fantastic and happen to have some of the best personalities in the entire Final Fantasy series.

But of course, who could forget the villains? And this game happens to have one of the greatest villains of all: A strange man named Kefka. After undertaking a mysterious procedure at the empires request, Kefka ended up losing his sanity; he then wants to overthrow the empire and use his new abilities gained from the procedure to become the ruler of the world. However, because he lost his sanity, he can't do it without cackling some strange quotes, such as "You people sound like pages from a self-help manual!" With some hilarious quotes backing such a very strange character, Kefka really does make a great villain.

The game uses a brand new system of strengthening your characters: the esper system. Basically, you equip stones, called magicite, that contain the power of incredible beasts, called espers. These beasts will teach you abilities as you wear the stones in battle, and only by properly coordinating the espers accordingly amongst your group so everyone can grow more powerful can you make an unstoppable team. This is a very unique system, the likes of which had never been seen when this game was first released, and it really helped to make this game shine amid the many RPG's for the SNES.

The game is not without it's problems, though. Several translation errors are pretty major and a few actually mistake the gender of certain characters(Although this can lead to some pretty funny situations...) by calling a "he" a "she", and so-forth. The game can be slightly confusing some times and may end up having the player say "Huh?" Despite this, the game retains its other great features.

The amount of secret content in this game will keep you searching the land for anything that you can find. You may talk to someone in a town and end up fighting a giant dragon for a new ability for one of your characters. You may get absorbed by a monster only to then find another person inside who has also been absorbed, and will then join your team. You may even get attacked by an overgrown bat who ends up holding an esper! There's a ton of interesting game content to find, and I still find something new every now and then when I explore.

While the game does suffer a poor translation, the fantastic story, excellent characters, and interesting mechanisms more than make up for it in the end. It's a lot of fun and you'll have a great time playing it. If you're a fan of the Final Fantasy series or just RPG's in general, then do yourself a huge favor: Don't miss this one.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 08/04/09

Game Release: Final Fantasy III (US, 10/20/94)

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