Welcome back! Today, we begin our journey through Final Fantasy 3!
I will be using the iOs version. Yes, I know that I despised the FF2 version, but the FF3 version is actually decent. I think the main thing that separates it from FF2 is the control scheme. In FF3 for the iOs, movement is controlled with a “stick” instead of just a d-pad. This really helps a lot with movement, and it doesn’t feel as finicky as FF2 does. If FF2 had this control scheme, I think it would be tolerable.
But then again, FF2 doesn’t feature 8-directional movement like FF3 does.
So, Final Fantasy 3. The original FF3, the Japanese version, not the FF3 for the SNES, that is an entirely different game. I won’t get into it, if you do some research on it, you can find out about the whole thing with the early FF releases. Most FF fans will know what I am talking about, however. This version of FF3 however, is the DS remake, ported over to mobile. I am not a huge fan of mobile gaming, but I think they did a good job on this one.
FF3 went in a different direction than 1 and 2. It has a class/job system, similar to 1, but instead of being stuck with your chosen class, you can actually change your job throughout the game as you see fit. There is a catch, however. When you switch jobs, that character goes through a “transition phase” where their stats are lowered for a few battles.
Yeah, it sounds annoying, and it is, but it isn’t too bad. The amount of time you spend in the transition phase is determined by what your current class is and the class you change to. So for instance, if you change from a mage class to a melee class or vice versa, expect the phase to last a bit longer.
But if you switch to a mage class to another mage class, it isn’t as long.
You can’t switch during battles, of course, but any other time is acceptable, but we will get to that.
There are two levels in this game, Character level and Job level.
Character level is the character’s overall level. This determines stats and MP.
Job level is the level of the jobs you use. Job levels determine the power of some abilities, such as the success rate of stealing as a Thief, if I recall correctly.
So you can be a level 20 character, but only a level 10 white mage job level. It is a bit confusing, but it is easier to show rather than explain once we start earning the jobs.
Instead of leveling up by casting a spell so many times or swinging a weapon so many times, level ups now offer a set bonus to every stat, based on what class you are, in a more classic fashion. So, you can be a Thief for a while, then change to a Red Mage if you wanted, and your stats will adjust to your character level, with Red Mage stats. You don’t have to be stuck with a particular class all the way through to get the best Strength, Vitality, ect. Your stats will shift depending on the class you are and your character level. There are a few exceptions, however. Notably, HP.
HP in this game increases based on what class you are when you level up, and doesn’t change when you switch classes.
What this means, if you spend the entire game as a “mage” class, your overall max HP will be lower than another character who spent the entire game as say, a Monk, because Monks have higher Vitality, and therefore, HP growths.
Because of this, there is a popular trick where you change all your characters to a high-HP gaining job, like Monk or Knight before each level up, ensuring you get a large boost to HP.
This is one thing that always bothered me about the game. However, I will not be switching classes before every level up, unless absolutely necessary. If I must, I will, but I think this game can be beaten if you just level up a lot if you get stuck. That or use a different strategy, which this game does sometimes encourage. More on that when we arrive at that point.
I have played the game once before and this game can be quite grindy. Especially at the end. I have never beat the game, I always got stuck at the very last boss, who always defeated me. This time will be different!
Starting the game up, we are presented with a young boy who has somehow fallen down a hole. We have the opportunity, like most FF games to rename him, but we keep his default name, Luneth.
After wandering around a moment, we are jumped by three goblins. I wonder if you can actually get a game over in the first battle, because I almost did. A few misses plus a goblin crit meant Luneth made it out of the fight with only 12 HP of 32 to spare.
The menu screen is pretty self-explanatory.
Job is greyed out because we only have one job available to us, the Freelancer.
The Freelancer is essentially a starting class that we will want to change out of as soon as we are able. If I recall correctly, it can equip a lot of different weapons and armors, but it has just average stats. It can also cast level 1 white and black magic, so that will come in handy in the beginning stages of the game.
We come across two chests with a Leather Shield, which gets promptly equipped and a Potion, which Luneth drinks immediately.
We come up to a rock, where Luneth exclaims there is something strange about it. We are then presented with a mechanic of the game, zooming in the camera.
By zooming in the camera, we can see sparkles on items we can interact with, that we normally wouldn’t see.
As we zoom in, sure enough, the rock lets off some sparkles, indicating we can interact with it. In doing so, part of the stone wall moves, revealing a hidden passageway. We also loot a much needed longsword, which boosts Luneth’s attack decently from the Knife he had equipped before.
Moving on to the upper floor, we come across an item, the Antarctic Wind. Essentially, these function as just spells in item forms, but usually are pretty strong, especially when combined with a later job we can get. Luneth tucks it away and continues on.
We loot another Antarctic Wind, along with some Potions and find a wellspring. Wellsprings are essentially free heals that we can use as many times as we want. Super wonderful when you can find these. Great for grinding if they are in the right location.
Luneth also reaches level 2.
We go through a door and find ourselves in a strange room. Just then, we are attacked by an enemy!
The first boss of the game, the Land Turtle, is simple. Especially if you use both of the Antarctic Winds, like I did. They deal about 45 damage a piece. After two of those and a few smacks from our longsword, he goes down.
Then, a voice from nowhere speaks to us, saying we are “chosen.”
Luneth is a bit freaked out at this, but eventually he finds a giant, floating crystal, that appears to be talking to him. It tells us we have a destiny, and that we must restore light to the world. He also says that others share our destiny, and that if we bring them back here with us, he will bestow his power on us.
After that, in a flash of light, he teleports us away.
We are now on the surface, outside of the cave. We can also save now. Much like in FF2, you can save anywhere on the world map, but not in dungeons. You can do a “quicksave” in a dungeon, if you need to leave the game for some reason, but it is not considered a “hard save,” and will be deleted when you load up the game.
With that, we head out. We come to the village of Ur, our home. Everyone seems to be speaking of a place called Kazus, that ghosts now inhabit the town, that an apparent curse might have been placed on it.
Enter one of the buildings, we find the village elder, who informs us we are orphans, that someone gave us to him when we were a newborn. We were destined to help the crystals even at birth.
Exploring around town, we come to the shops. We don’t buy any weapons just yet, but we purchase a Leather Cap, Leather Armor and some Bronze Bracers.
We also buy Poisona in the magic shop, because why not?
Poisona is a level 1 white magic spell that removes poison from a target. Simple.
We go to the upper part of town and see some kids picking on a young boy. They are teasing him about the supposed ghosts in Kazus.
We find out it is Arc, Luneth’s best friend. After they see Luneth, the kids run away, followed by Arc.
Then, a cutscene of Arc, saying he can’t be a coward commences, and he runs off. Well, better chase after him.
We travel south to Kazus and find Arc looking around. After giving him a fright, he asks to join us so we can search Kazus together. Luneth agrees and he joins.
Arc joins as a Freelancer as well, so he has essentially the same stats as Luneth right now. Although he is level 3 instead 2.
We give him our extra knife, in addition to the one he is wearing, to help him out and continue on.
Searching around town reveals it to be pretty empty, except for the shells of people walking around. These “ghosts” appear to just be simple villagers who have been cursed by someone or something called a Djinn.
We also talk to Cid, who says he was stranded here, and got turned into a ghost. He lends us his airship and says that we need to find a Mythril Ring to undo the curse. We also talk to the blacksmith, who says his daughter has gone missing.
20 minutes in and we have three quests, find the people who share our destiny and bring them back to the crystal, undo a curse and help the town of Kazus and find the blacksmith’s missing daughter.
We also are given an airship to use?
Things are definitely looking up for Luneth!
As we head to the place Cid says his airship was, sure enough, his airship is waiting for us!
However, there appears to be an extra passenger on board.
It turns out to be Refia, the blacksmith’s missing daughter! We ask her about the mythril ring, but she says she doesn’t know how to make them. But, she does tell us that her father forged a ring for King Sasune, and that he should still have it.
She then asks to join, so she can help the people of Kazus.
Refia’s stats are the same as Arc’s. She starts as a Freelancer at level 3.
Using our newly acquired airship, we head back to Ur to pick up some shields and longswords for everyone.
We arrive at castle Sasune, but find that it is suffering from the same fate as Kazus! We also speak to a boy who tells us he was away when the castle was cursed. We tell him about Refia and the possible mythril ring the king might have and agrees to let us see the king.
While exploring the castle, we happen across a fake wall, and find a hidden chest containing a rare and elusive phoenix down!
Looting the castle of its hidden goodies, we find 2000 gil, and an assortment of weapons and armor, such as a leather shield, bronze knuckles and a spell; Blizzard.
We speak to the king and find out his daughter now holds the ring, who went missing right before the djinn cursed everyone. Lovely.
They tell us that the djinn may have taken Princess Sara to his cave to the north.
We find out the boy wishes to join us. He introduces himself as Ingus, and comes along with us.
With a now fully party, next time, we then head out north to the cave to hopefully find Princess Sara and undo the curse that has been placed on Kazus and Sasune!
The Freelancer image was taken from the FF3 Wikia page: