Last time, we became the owners of the Nautilus, a fast airship that we could use to go to the Dalg Continent.
In doing so, we found Doga, a powerful mage who told us we needed to awake Unei, who is sleeping in a hidden cave.
He told us about Noah, his master who passed away years ago.
He also mentioned Xande, another apprentice of Noah’s who is the cause of the darkness creeping into the world.
Awakening Unei with Noah’s Lute, she gave us the Fang of Fire as well accompanying us to find the Invincible, another powerful airship that we would need to find the last fang, the Fang of Earth.
After finding the Fang of Earth, we journey back to Unei and Doga, who instructed us to find them upon retrieving the last fang.
We find them after traversing Doga’s hidden grotto, only to find them ready for battle!
They tell us to open the key to Eureka, a place where ancient weapons are held, they would need to use their life energy to complete it.
They then proceeded to kick our butts. Let’s get back to that, shall we?
So after another failed attempt, I gave it another go, and got really lucky.
Doga didn’t put up much of a fight. I did my usual rotation of Arc casting Blizzaga and Ingus healing, but this time I had Luneth cast Protect using the Defender he had equipped. I don’t know if that was the deciding factor, but it seemed to help.
Another thing that really helped, Doga cast Flare only once, taking out Luneth. After a Raise and a timely Cura, he was back on his feet in no time. He then went down with everyone in good health, thankfully.
Unei, I got really lucky with I think. She only cast Tornado once, which causes a target to instantly go to single digit health, no matter how much HP they had, if it hits. She cast Holy once, taking out Luneth, but once again, we got him back on his feet quickly.
She also cast Haste on herself. At first I was worried, but Haste seems to work differently in FF3 than it did in FF1/FF2. In those games, especially FF1, Haste would cause you to get a ton of more hits and more damage, but in this one, all it seems to do is make you go first more often in combat, which can helpful, to be sure, but it didn’t turn Unei into a one-hit KO fiend that I was expecting.
It also worked out, because now that Unei was Hasted, she was going first almost every time, making her damage us, then Arc/Ingus could heal the damage away, with no chance of a “wasted” heal.
After a tense fight, she goes down as well!
As Doga and Unei lay defeated, they tell us the Eureka key is complete and they hand it off to us.
They tell us that we need to go to Syrcus Tower and defeated Xande. Unei gives us the key to his tower, and they tell us how strong we are, and that we can do it.
They say Luneth has the light courage,
Arc has the light of kindness,
Refia has the light of affection
and Ingus has the light of determination.
They then fade away. We quickly Teleport out and save! I am glad that is over!
We get the Invincible, buy some of the level 7 spells and rest.
Heading to where the four sets of statues were, they now crumble away as we approach, since we now have the four fangs.
As we sail deeper into the mountains, we come across a giant castle, with a tower in the center. We enter the first door to reveal the Ancient’s Maze.
We enter the Ancient’s Maze and quickly find the Earth Crystal… Which is odd, because I could have sworn Goldor destroyed it a while back? Oh well, magic, crystals and all that.
Of course, a boss awaits as we go to touch the crystal, this time revealing Titan!
Titan is a stronger version of Hecatoncheir, complete with two attacks and Quake. After Luneth got Protect on everyone, his physical attacks, while damaging, were manageable. Quake, however, was a doozy, dealing about 600 damage to the party. Near the end of the fight, Arc went down, but so did Titan, so it was a fair trade. I even busted out a few Curagas during the fight.
Until I get Arise, which revives someone with full HP, I am not even really bothering Raising anyone during a fight, since chances are they are about to go down again. The only time I really would is if the enemy only uses physical attacks and Luneth can Cover them with his Knight ability, but that is pretty circumstantial, since most monsters can use magic as well, bypassing Cover.
But in any case, we now have all of the jobs available! Well, except for one secret job.
Black Belt: A superior Monk. Has the best Vitality in the game, allowing for big HP level ups. Hits pretty hard, too.
Magus: The upgrade to Black Mage. Can cast all Black magic spells.
Devout: The upgrade to White Mage. Can cast all White magic spells.
Summoner: Upgrade to the Evoker, except they are much more powerful. Instead of the random effects from the summons used by the Evoker, these now just deal a ton of damage.
Sage: This job can use all White, Black, and Summon magic all the way up to level 8. I know what you are thinking, best mage ever, right? Well, they were in the NES version. In this version, they got nerfed pretty bad. The biggest nerf is the fact they have way less total MP than the other jobs at this level. So while they can use every spell, they get a lot less charges to use those spells.
In addition, they can only summon the Evoker versions of summons instead of the uber-awesome Summoner versions. A big bummer.
Ninja: Shuriken-throwing, high melee damage dealer of the game. They have low defensive stats, making them a glass cannon of sorts, but still pretty strong.
With these jobs now available to us, it is time to do some job changing and some job leveling! That is the only downside to these classes, you get them so late in the game, but to really get the most out of them, you have to grind for job levels when you first get them.
I change Refia into a Ninja, Arc into a Summoner and Ingus into a Devout. Luneth stays a Knight.
Exploring around a bit, we come to the town of Falgabard, the Dark Knight village. We go through a cave in the village, testing out our new jobs, picking up some items before leaving.
We also find a hidden waterfall cave with an old man who challenges us to a duel!
He is a Shinobi in disguise, but didn’t put up much of a fight, even in the transition phase three of our party members were in. He hit pretty hard, but nothing we couldn’t handle.
Leaving, we head back to the floating continent to explore.
We come up to a lake with something swimming in it, and enter it with our canoe, and stumble upon Lake Dohr.
We grab some decent treasure inside, and eventually find Leviathan waiting for us! He says if we defeat him in combat he will assist us!
He went down pretty easy, but I was probably supposed to come here earlier. After Protect, he didn’t hit that hard at all. He did use his signature move, Tsunami once, which decimated Luneth for some reason, bringing him from full HP to just double digits in one attack.
I guess Knights have really bad magic defense or something.
But in any case, we beat him and get the Leviath summon for Arc!
While we were in the area, we stop by Ur and talk to the elder about the missing children. He says they went to Altar Cave and haven’t returned. We head there to check it out.
Inside, we find the children being accosted by Bombs. Arc jumps in and we all help them by defeating the monsters. They then give us something they found, a crystal fragment…
Which contains the final job Onion Knight!
The Onion Knight sucks. At least until you reach character level 99, then, they become the best job in the game.
Their stats are horrid, boasting the lowest out of all the jobs, until you hit level 95+. Every level up from that point, their stats just shoot up, until every stat is 99 at level 99. They can also use White and Black magic to level 8. They are really good, if and only if, your characters are level 99.
I never bothered with them, since I never got that high of a level.
With that, we head back to the surface world and explore a bit more. We dive into the waters near Saronia and find a hidden cave with the Saronia Catacombs within!
Inside, we find a few treasures, but notably, the Golem Staff, which goes to Arc.
Further in, we find a secret passageway with eight chests and we get four Phoenix Downs and four Elixirs!
They are all trapped with weak monsters, but they aren’t a challenge at all.
After all those difficult boss battles, it feels nice to be able to just run through some encounters for a bit.
Heading back up, we find Odin, who immediately attack us!
You will notice Refia is a Thief for this battle. There is a rare spear you can steal from Odin, but instead I got an Elixir. Oh well! I don’t plan on using Dragoon anymore anyway, so no big deal.
With Protect, Odin doesn’t hit very hard, but his special attack, Zantesuken deals a ton of damage to the whole party. Refia went down briefly, but was back up just in time for the fight to finish, so she got EXP as well.
Heading back to the floating continent, let us try to find Bahamut, shall we?
We find a cave that we use the Invincible to get to, and sure enough, we find his lair.
Inside, we find some goodies, as well as another Golem Staff, which goes to Ingus.
There are some good items in here, like a Bacchu’s Cider, Turtle Shell and a Chocobo’s Wrath! We pick them all up happily, of course.
I also have to say, I am very happy with my party thus far. Arc is amazing as a Summoner. Summoners deals insane group damage while having a ton of MP to cast with. Refia does about the same damage as Luneth as a Knight, but Luneth has a 60 in his job level, while Refia has like an 8 or 9, so her damage is just going to grow the more levels she puts into Ninja. Ingus does a great job as our healer, now that he has access to higher level White magic.
I gained a few levels in here before Teleporting out and resting. I just felt like I needed some more levels.
After coming back, we find Bahamut, who challenges us to a fight. The same deal as the other bosses, physical attacks were manageable, but their ability hurt pretty bad, in this case, Mega Flare. With a Curaja healing everyone up, however, he went down pretty fast.
Exiting the cave with Arc now fully decked out in summons, we head back to the Ancient’s Maze to explore.
In the lower floors of the maze, we find some attack items, as well as a set of Crystal gear, boosting Luneth’s defense pretty high with the mail and gloves alone.
We pick up a Break Blade, as well as a Phoenix Down and a Chocobo’s Wrath.
We also get a hold of a Protect Ring, which goes on Ingus to protect our healer.
We come out the other side of the maze, standing in front of the tower.
We enter the Crystal Tower and head up some stairs, to a room with a sigil on it.
When we approach, the Eureka Key that Doga gave us begins to let off light.
Using the key, we are teleported to Eureka.
Exploring around the first floor, we find some treasure; a Phoenix Down, an Elixir, a Chocobo’s Wrath, as well as a Fuma Garb.
We grab some more treasure, mostly attack items, and find a hidden path leading to a Ribbon, except it’s trapped by a Ninja who attacks us!
The Ninja wasn’t really any trouble, he just had a ton of HP.
Continuing on, we find a Shuriken in a chest. Better save those for the final boss. Ninjas can throw those to deal a large amount of damage.
Amon is a re-hash of the Hein fight. Same thing, he can change his weakness, he has a lot of physical defense. He can also cast Firaga, Blizzaga and Thundaga, but they don’t hurt nearly as much anymore. Either that or he just has a crappy magic stat.
He was harder to take down than the Ninja, but only because of his weakness changes and the fact he has absurdly high physical defense.
But in the end, he went down and we get the Moonring Blade, which Refia equips.
We are also fully healed after the fight.
She actually put up a fight. She could attack three times, which hurt pretty bad, but she can also cast Haste and Aeroga, which hurt. I used some higher level spells, Curagas and Leviathans to keep the healing and damage flowing.
Refia gleefully equips the Masamune.
We come to another weapon, the Excalibur. Guarding it is the General.
He wasn’t that hard. He hit decently hard, and he could cast Drain, but he went down fast enough that it didn’t become an issue. We finally retire Luneth’s Blood Sword in favor of the Excalibur, boosting his attack to a massive 262.
Following the same suit, another weapon, the Ragnarok, floats on a pedestal. When we get close, the Guardian appears and fights us!
He went down really quick. He did give me a scare when he cast Reflect on himself, but summons pierce Reflect, so that is awesome. The Ragnarok goes to Luneth.
Finding the last weapon, the Elder Staff, we face off against Scylla.
She actually scared me. Her physical attacks didn’t hurt much, but they could petrify, which sucks. She could also cast the typical Firaga, Blizzaga and Thundaga, but also Flare and Holy.
These are still one-hit kills to whoever she casts these on. Thankfully, she only cast each of them once, and I managed to get everyone on their feet, but it got close a few times.
The Elder staff goes to Ingus. It also casts Cura when used in battle.
We take a teleporter to more Shurikens and Elixirs, as well as some shops, namely, selling the level 8 spells for Black and White magic, as well as the last three summons.
I only pick up Holy and the lovely Arise.
Also, there is a tricky hidden path that leads to another merchant that sells Shurikens!
They are very pricey, at almost 70,000 gil. I buy a bunch, sell off all of my old gear that I have been hoarding that I no longer need, and buy some more. I got a total of 11 Shurikens. Hopefully that is enough to last me the rest of the game.
We journey up the crystal tower, picking up various items, mostly Phoenix Downs and Elixirs. We get close to the top and I decide to Teleport out and do some last level grinding.
The last dungeon is very long, with no respite and no chance to save. As well, the last boss is incredibly tough. The fact that you can get all the way to the end and get demolished by the last boss, then have to make the entire trip again, facing all of the mini-bosses inside again is infuriating, so I am going to make sure my levels are up to par before I make my climb to the top.
I did some grinding all the way to level 56, and everyone’s job levels are now in the mid 40’s. Luneth’s is 92. I was tempted to get Luneth’s job level to 99, but oh well, I already spent a few hours grinding.
Let us re-climb the crystal tower and put a stop to Xande!
When we reach the top, we find a mirror. When we step up to it, we are cursed, unable to move. However, Doga appears in spirit and tells us that only five pure-hearted people may break the spell.
Doga tells us he will find everyone to help us.
Then, he goes to the now king Alus, who happily agrees to help.
Then, Doga recruits one of the four old men who thought they were the light warriors.
They all are teleported with Doga to the crystal tower, who break the curse of the spell, and we are free to enter the mirror and continue our journey.
We quickly find Xande, who says that the darkness is already upon the world! He then attacks us!
Xande, despite all of the hype, goes down easily.
His physical attacks did some decent damage, but his Firaga, Thundaga and Blizzaga didn’t do much damage.
But he says his death changes nothing, that the cloud of darkness is already here…
It says it is going to return the world to the void, and it attacks us!
We go in full force, but our attacks do 0 damage!?
It then retaliates with Particle Beam, instantly killing us!
Everyone cheers for us, but it is too much, we are done for…
But, before all is lost, Doga and Unei use their souls to resurrect us!
They tell us they are now crossing to the great beyond, that they have done all they can. We are the last hope!
We step into the darkness portal and are transported to the world of darkness… Where the Cloud of Darkness awaits.
This room is a boss gauntlet. If we want to stand any chance at beating the Cloud of Darkness, we first have to take out four of her lackeys. If we don’t she is essentially unbeatable.
We can take them on in any order, but we must defeat all of them to stand a chance.
We find a chest that contains a Ribbon, but it is guarded by a Xande Clone!
He can cast the trio of -aga spells as well Haste and Protect, but he goes down easily.
The Ribbon goes on Arc.
We find the first boss, Cerberus, waiting for us!
He hits pretty hard, but the main difficulty, he attacks three times per turn! He can also cast the boss staple of -aga spells as well. His attacks inflict poison as well, but that isn’t a major concern.
I had Luneth set up Protect with the Defender, while Ingus healed and Arc and Refia did the best damage they could, although I didn’t throw any Shurikens… I am saving those for Cloud of Darkness.
With Curaga and Summon spam, he went down. Three more to go.
After the fight, we are greeted with a warrior of dark, one of the fabled “heroes” who defeated the light a thousand years ago. He says that light and dark have a balance, and as long as there is hope in the light and dark world, the Void will be kept at bay.
Going to the next boss, we find another Ribbon, guarded by yet another Xande Clone. This one goes down even faster than the first one.
Next up, is the Two-Headed Dragon, which hits for about 1000+ damage and gets two turns. Yikes.
We use the same strategy as before.
I don’t believe he has any magic, just powerful physical attacks.
After defeating it, another warrior of dark speaks to us, telling us that when Xande halted the flow of time, he sealed away two of the crystals, causing the balance to be upset, unleashing the Cloud of Darkness.
He says that the Cloud of Darkness is powerful, but with the powers of light and dark, we might be able to beat it.
We grab another Ribbon after beating another Xande Clone and continue on to the boss.
With that, our entire party is decked out in Ribbons, fully protected now.
We come across the Ahriman as the next boss. He cast the same trio of elemental spells and gets two turns.
He doesn’t hit as hard as the Two-Headed Dragon with his physical attacks, and his spells deal some damage, but are easily healed.
We grab the final Ribbon and confront the last mini-boss of the world of darkness… The Echidna!
She hits for a decent amount, but she can cast a lot of nasty spells, such as Quake and Death, which instantly KO’s a target if it succeeds.
She can even pull out Tornado, which lowers any target that is affected by it to single digit HP.
Thankfully, none of it landed, and we beat her without incident.
The last warrior of dark joins us for our assault against the Cloud of Darkness!
We approach her, and the warriors of dark appear and sacrifice themselves to weaken her.
Now it’s time for a rematch!
The Cloud of Darkness is a very difficult final boss.
First off, she has two Tentacles that accompany her, and they both have high health, and can cast a multitude of spells, like Lightning, Haste, Protect as well as hitting decently hard.
In addition, one tentacle can only be hit with physical attacks while the other can only be hit with magic attacks.
This was a Lightning attack. Not severe, but enough that when coupled with the other attacks she has at her disposal makes for trouble.
The Cloud herself has physical attacks and can cast Particle Beam, that same attack that wiped us out earlier. She also has Bad Breath, but if you are wearing Ribbons (you really should), then that is a lovely small break from her relentless assault.
Since we killed the four mini-bosses, Particle Beam deals much less damage, but still is one of most powerful attacks she can use.
Things got pretty close during the fight. I had Luneth use the Defender to Protect everyone. Refia threw Shurikens at the Cloud while Arc summoned.
Ingus had to go into super-overdrive healing mode, spamming Curaja almost the entire fight to survive.
At one point, a Lightning + Particle Beam combo took out Arc and severely weakening Luneth and Refia. Ingus healed everyone and I took a chance on reviving Arc with Arise.
That was such a risky gamble, but it payed off, with Arc up but everyone was hurt pretty bad. Before Ingus could start up his Curaja spam again, Refia was KO’d.
This time, I couldn’t take that risk of not casting Curaja every round, so she had to stay down, which was bad because she was dealing 9999 damage with her Shurikens. Refia did somehow managed to miss with a Shuriken one time, which caused a bit of rage, but we still managed to take her out thanks to Luneth and Arc.
Also, despite Arc casting Bahamut and Leviathan every turn he was able, he never did take out the magic-weak Tentacle. Each tentacle apparently has 66,666 health each. That is insane. My original plan was to have Refia attack the Cloud exclusively with Shurikens, while Ingus attacked the other tentacle. With Arc’s summons hitting both the Cloud and the magic-weak tentacle, I thought I could take them both out and save myself some trouble, but that didn’t happen. I had to just have Luneth go for the Cloud when Refia went down to make up for her.
The Cloud herself has 120,000 HP.
After a very intense fight, we defeat the Cloud of Darkness!!!
We get a bit of story about how the world came into being, and the light and dark balance.
At the end, we are transported back to the crystal tower where everyone is waiting.
We are congratulated by everyone and hop on the Invincible to take everyone home.
We drop them off, one-by-one, and say our goodbyes.
Dropping off Cid and Desch at Canaan, Sara wants to travel back to Ur with Ingus.
Back at Ur, everyone cheers for us, and thanks us for saving the world. Someone tries to give Ingus a congratulatory kiss, but Sara shuts her down pretty quick. That made me chuckle.
The crystals re-appear in the world, bringing about a new beautiful day!
The credits are actually pretty fun, showing off the various characters and jobs doing various things in the background. That was cool.
Here is the menu screen before the final boss:
-Medusa Boss (I reset, so I am counting it)
-Garuda x6 (!!!)
-Doga and Unei x2
This game was a bit of a roller coaster for me. There were times where it was really fun, but then extremely annoying and challenging.
But, I could forgive most of the game’s faults, except the fact that the game requires you to grind a ton to be able to beat the game. I was almost level 60, and Cloud of Darkness was still a nightmare.
I understand that a final boss should be epic, but still, requiring the player to grind and grind at the end to even stand a chance to beat the boss is very annoying. Perhaps if you could gain levels faster, or if you could at least save half-way or right before the boss.
Unlike in FFOrigins, this game doesn’t have the Memo option, so you can’t save anywhere.
The fact that the final area is just a slog walking up the tower and beating four mini-bosses and the Cloud all in one go. As well as having random encounter all through-out, all of whom you will most likely run from since you need to conserve resources. It is tough.
FF1 sort of did this, but you can Exit/Teleport out, plus, the game didn’t require you to grind to obscene levels to beat Chaos.
In FF1, you could comfortably beat the game with a balanced party at about level 26-28, which is with minimal grinding. Of course, challenge runs are a different story, but I am not counting those.
I am pretty sure I had one of the best job compositions you could have, not counting the Onion Knight. I mean, my job levels were in the mid 40’s and nearly maxed with my Knight!
I couldn’t even imagine trying to beat this game with a different party.
Knight was tanky (minus magic damage, at least before Ribbon), and dealt great damage at the end,
Ninja was frail, but dealt amazing damage,
Summoner was all about group damage, plus they have a ton of MP,
Devout is needed. I don’t see how anyone can beat the Cloud without one. You might be able to get by with a White Mage, but why use one if you have the Devout job? Not counting challenge/restriction runs of course.
I mean, perhaps the Knight could be switched up with a Dragoon maybe, or something that dealt great damage, but I am no expert on FF3, so take that advice with a grain of salt.
Of course, this whole point is probably moot if you level everyone up to 99, but I just don’t have the patience for that.
And don’t even get me started on the “transition phase” when you switch jobs. At first, I didn’t really mind it, since I knew what jobs I wanted to use, but later on, when you just want to mess around with the different jobs, you can’t really do that, not without saving before switching and then resetting if you don’t like it.
But even then, with your stats weakened for up to ten battles sometimes, it takes a while to even be able to see the full potential of a job.
Another annoying thing, if you level up as a job with low Vitality, your character will permanently have lower HP than everyone else. This can really mess you up if you don’t think about it. I think I got pretty lucky with HP ups, what with having Arc and Ingus as Red Mages for most of the game instead of White/Black mages.
But there is a reason why most people switch to Monk/Black Belt right before a level to ensure they get a larger HP increase, but that is just more work to add to the game that you have to do.
Also, I didn’t really know this until about half-way through the game, but there is a hidden stat called Melee Proficiency, which dictates how many hits a character gets with a weapon, but it is for each hand.
So, if you spend the entire game as a mage, but then switch to a melee class late in the game, you are kind of screwed, since that mage character will always deal less damage and hits than someone who has been attacking the entire game, at least until they build up their Melee Proficiency.
Just another thing that you might have to grind if you didn’t know ahead of time.
And it’s hidden, the game doesn’t mention it at all that I am aware of!
Also, this game doesn’t really have much of a story. They tried with the remakes, and they did what they could with what they had, but nothing spectacular, similiar to FF1, but a bit more story and flavor.
The whole “light and dark warriors teaming up to beat the Void” was neat. I like that concept, makes me wonder about what the “dark warriors” had to go through and what they had to fight to complete their quest a thousand years ago.
But, with that said, would I recommend this game?
No. It is just too frustrating at times, and very grindy.
I think the NES version is a lot of people’s favorites, but I can’t attest to that, since I never played that version.
But for this version, don’t play it unless you are crazy like myself and want to play through every Final Fantasy.
I do enjoy the fact that this is the first game in the series to have the job system, plus the quirky cast of characters were all right. I will admit, I did enjoy some of the challenge, but once again, going back to the whole, “grind almost 15+ levels before you can beat the final boss” thing really annoyed me.
Maybe I am a tad bit lazy sometimes, but this game just has a lot of negative layers stacked up on each other that just becomes a lot to bear.
There is more to the game, like getting Job Mastery items by leveling up a job to job level 99, beating the secret boss, getting the Onion equipment, but I don’t foresee myself doing all that. I just don’t have enough interest in the game to do so.
But, when I beat it, I did get that feeling of accomplishment you almost always get after beating a game, especially the first time, so that was great.
In any case, the world of FF3 has been saved!
The job images were taken from the FF3 Wikia page: